Assemblymember Ramos' Tribal Safety Bill Moves Forward

May 20, 2020

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A bill proposed by State Assemblymember James Ramos, that would reduce rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, moved one step closer to state law Tuesday. 

The bill, introduced to the state assembly in February by Highland’s Assemblymember James Ramos, unanimously passed the Public Safety Committee on May 19.

In a press release, Ramos, the former chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, says the murder rates of Native American women can be ten times the national average on some reservations.

The bills aims to decrease these numbers through greater collaboration between the state and local tribal law enforcement. It would also clear up confusion created by a federal 1953 law over which law enforcement agency has jurisdiction when suspects are non-Indian.

The details include creating three positions in the California’s Department of Justice to assist tribal police with reporting statistics, training, outreach and procedures relating to crime on tribal lands.

According to the press release, the bill has the support of several groups including California Indian Legal Services and the Riverside Sheriff’s Association.