Zachary Nayquonabe, banished Ojibwe member, arrested back on reservation


In our November 9 cover story, "The Banishing," we examined violent crime on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe reservation, and law enforcement's struggle to control it.

In 2008, in an attempt to rid repeat offenders from the reservation, the tribal court issued its first modern banishment order. Legally called "exclusion," the order casts a band member off trust land for at least five years. Or at least that's the idea.

In Mille Lacs, police have found it difficult to actually enforce the exclusion orders; of the five people who have been banished so far, all but one has been arrested back on the reservation.

And as Zachary Nayquonabe exemplified last week, the struggle is ongoing.

Nayquonabe was arrested for fighting on the reservation last Tuesday, more than three years after being banished from the reservation for his part in a series of carjackings. Nayquonabe was so high on crack when police arrived, two stun guns couldn't even bring him down.

Tribal police arrived at a house on the reservation after receiving a report of a disturbance involving a knife, according to the complaint. The cops could hear the sound of dogs barking behind the house, and when they went back to investigate, they found Zachary's brother Victor, 25, trying to escape through a back window.

Inside, police found Zachary, 23, who refused to show the officers his hands. He appeared "agitated and upset," according to the report, and defied seven commands to get down on the floor, replying that he "wasn't getting on the ground for anybody."

Zachary was standing near his mother and Victor's young child, so tackling him was too risky, police said. Instead, they shot him twice with stun guns and were able to bring him to the ground soon afterward.

Once Zachary was detained, his mother explained she was sitting in her room earlier that night when she heard a loud noise. She walked out to find Victor about to strike Zachary with a dumbbell. She took the dumbbell away, and Zachary threatened to go get a knife.

The officers tried to get a statement from Zachary, but he said he'd been smoking crack and was "too faded." As he sat in the back of the police car en route to jail, Zachary joked about how little prison time he'd received for past crimes, and that he should have killed a tribal police investigator, because he "would have only got 12 months for it."

Zachary was charged with felony domestic assault, brawling, and obstructing the legal process. For violating the exclusion order, he was punished with a mere trespassing citation -- the third one he's received since he was banished in August 2008.

[HT: Mille Lacs Messenger]

Previous Coverage:

  • The Banishing
  • William Nickaboine's murder: More than a year later, still no conviction
  • Cody St. John's case against attackers still ongoing

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