Flagstaff police attempted to murder an unsheltered Indigenous relative on Monday.
Most folx who live on the eastside know Mat, his low rider bike and bandana are as much a fixture in the neighborhood as any street sign.
Mat would stop by for food, conversation, to borrow some bike tools, and an occasional shower. He’s a calm yet streetwise person.
On Monday, April 8, 2019 at 4:00pm Flagstaff police officer Nick Rubey attempted to murder Mat.
In body camera footage released by the Flagstaff Police Department we see a disturbing confrontation that started similarly to how we witness most profiling here on the streets of Flagstaff. Officer Rubey initially appears to calmly question Mat then grabs him when he was trying to leave. Mat pulled back stating, “What are you doing asshole? Hey dude, you just started trying to attack me…what the hell are you doing?” The officer grabbed at Mat while simultaneously telling him he’s under arrest. Mat was forced to the ground but stood up and after being pepper sprayed took action to defend himself by pepper spraying the attacking officer. Officer Rubey imagined the pepper spray was a knife and shouted, “You drop that fucking knife right now.” Mat responded by shouting, “I don’t have a knife!” and sprayed the cop. Officer Rubey immediately then shot Mat in the neck.
Mat survived this attempt on his life. We plan to support him however we can.
Read our edited transcription of the attack below, but first let us provide some context.
Flagstaff police perpetuate extreme racial profiling targeting the Indigenous population. We’ve talked at great length with Mat and other unsheltered relatives about their experiences and worked with them to get the support they need when asked. We’ve discussed the reality of substance abuse and mental health issues and ways we can organize to not just improve, but strike at the root of colonial state violence. We’ve also provided know you rights workshops, informal cop-watching, and in some situations with aggressive law enforcers, assisted our relatives by de-escalating.
According to annual reports from the Flagstaff Police Department, the City of Flagstaff arrests an average of more than 3,000 Indigenous People every year yet only 7,000 Native people call Flagstaff their home. The majority of these arrests are comprised of unsheltered relatives. In 2006 The National Coalition for the Homeless named the City of Flagstaff the 10th “meanest” city in the U.S. due to policies targeting the “homeless” or unsheltered population.
According to a Washington Post database, 264 people have been shot and killed by police in the US in 2019 alone. Arizona police have shot and killed 11 people this year. Of those murders, 3 have been in Flagstaff. One of those shootings occurred outside a community metal health center. Monday’s shooting marks the 23rd officer-involved-shooting in Arizona this year, according to a count maintained by The Arizona Republic.
According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice “The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asian Americans.”
In the face of extreme racial profiling and state violence, we know that any of our brothers and sisters could face this kind of terrorism. We respect Mat for standing his ground and defending himself in the face of this act of state aggression.
In 2016, Loreal Tsingine, a Diné woman, was shot 5 times by a white police officer in nearby Winslow, Arizona for allegedly shoplifting. Loreal was fierce and also did not back down when unjustly attacked. We honor her spirit in organizing towards lasting solutions to defend ourselves, neighbors, lands, and to resolve issues we face in more just and healthy ways. This means a world free from police & prisons.
Táala Hooghan Ad-hoc Committee Against State Violence
#justice4mat #nativejusticenow #acab
We’ve also provided some know your rights info below.
Edited transcription of the video:
Officer Nick Rubey turns his patrol car around in the middle of the road to stop and question Mat.
Mat responds to questions by saying he is fixing his bike ad expresses concern by stating, “Seems like you guys have been trying to stop me today or something.”
Cop: “Still staying at Taala Hooghan or somewhere else”?
The conversation continues about where he’s staying with the cop asking if Mat is, “…bouncing around from hotel to hotel.” Which Mat confirms.
Cop asks, “Where you planning on fixing your bike at?” The conversation then focuses on Mat’s bike and his safety.
The cop asks if he had a BB gun on him today and Mat responds by saying he took it from someone but that he didn’t have it and didn’t want to mess with it.
Cop asks if Mat has any weapons on him other than the visible knife on Mat’s bike.
Cop then states, “you’re usually pretty chill…I don’t want to treat people differently you know what I mean.”
Mat attempts to end the conversation by saying, “you have a good day sir,” and mentions that he has to work on his bike.
Cop states, “Unfortunately at this moment you are under arrest,” and aggressively grabs Mat.
Mat pulls pack and repeatedly asks, “What for?” Cop demands that Mat get on the ground because he has a warrant.
Mat responds by pulling back and saying, “What are you doing asshole? Hey dude, you just started trying to attack me…what the hell are you doing?”
After being thrown to the ground Mat stands up and pulls away as the cop holds his arm. Cop repeatedly demands that Mat gets on the ground.
Mat repeatedly asks, “What are you doing?” then loudly states, “Come on fucker. Get off me man. you just started attacking me homie. Don’t do that shit. Don’t attack me dude, I’ll get on the ground.” The cop is still holding Mat’s left arm at this point.
Cop pulls out pepper spray, “You’re going to get sprayed if you don’t get on the ground right now. Do you under stand me?”
As Mat states, “You attacked me dude.” The cop pepper sprays him in the face. Mat asks, “What are you doing?” Mat pulls pepper spray from his pocket and is holding it in his free right hand.
The cop sees the pepper spray and thinks it’s a knife. The cop has already drawn his gun. Cop shouts, “You drop that fucking knife right now.” Mat says, “I don’t have a knife.” and pepper sprays the cop. The cop immediately shoots Mat in the neck.
Mat falls to the sidewalk crying, “…you killed me, you hit me man. You hit me in the head. Oh, help me. Why did you hit me in the head fucker?
…i’m tingling all over. Please stop. He shot me in the back of the head.”
The cop forces Mat to roll over and tells him to “stop.”
Mat continues to cry, “…over what dude, over nothing huh? You’re fucking assholes. Leave me alone dude.”
Cops immediately administer first aid then medics arrive.
The video ends with Mat stating, “I don’t want you touching me at all anymore.”
Video of the attempted murder posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iznl4vjeUhs
Corporate news coverage here: https://azdailysun.com/news/fpd-flagstaff-man-in-officer-involved-shooting-hospitalized-in-police/article_b0cc9683-000c-5e60-8f47-639e79e57e70.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2
Know your rights (including de-escalation tips): https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-if-youre-stopped-police-immigration-agents-or-fbi
Support unsheltered relatives: http://www.taalahooghan.org/2019/02/support-unsheltered-relatives-in-kinlani-flagstaff/
Ox Sam Camp Raid Update: One Arrested as Prayer Tipis Are Bulldozed and Ceremonial Items Confiscated
Thursday, June 8th, 2023
THACKER PASS, NV — On Wednesday morning, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s department on behalf of Lithium Nevada Corporation, raided the Ox Sam Newe Momokonee Nokutun (Ox Sam Indigenous Women’s Camp), destroying the two ceremonial tipi lodges, mishandling and confiscating ceremonial instruments and objects, and extinguishing the sacred fire that has been lit since May 11th when the Paiute/Shoshone Grandma-led prayer action began.
One arrest took place on Wednesday at the direction of Lithium Nevada security. A young Diné female water protector was handcuffed with no warning and loaded into a windowless, pitch-black box in the back of a pickup truck. “I was really scared for my life,” the woman said. “I didn’t know where I was or where I was going, and I know that MMIW is a real thing and I didn’t want to be the next one.” She was transported to Humboldt County Jail, where she was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest, then released on bail.
Just hours before the raid, Ox Sam water protectors could be seen for the second time this week bravely standing in the way of large excavation equipment and shutting down construction at the base of Sentinel Rock.
To many Paiute and Shoshone, Sentinel Rock is a “center of the universe,” integral to many Nevada Tribes’ way of life and ceremony, as well as a site for traditional medicines, tools, and food supply for thousands of years. Thacker Pass is also the site of two massacres of Paiute and Shoshone people. The remains of the massacred ancestors have remained unidentified and unburied since 1865, and are now being bulldozed and crushed by Lithium Nevada for a mineral known as “the new white gold.”
Since May 11th, despite numerous requests by Lithium Nevada workers, the Humboldt County Sheriff Department has been reticent and even unwilling to arrest members of the prayer camp, even after issuing three warnings for blocking Pole Creek Road access to Lithium Nevada workers and sub-contractors, while allowing the public to pass through.
“We absolutely respect your guys’ right to peacefully protest,” explained Humboldt County Sheriff Sean Wilkin on May 12th. “We have zero issues with [the tipi] whatsoever… We respect your right to be out here.”
On March 19th the Sheriff arrived again, serving individual fourteen-day Temporary Protection Orders against several individuals at camp. The protection orders were granted by the Humboldt County Court on behalf of Lithium Nevada based on sworn statements loaded with misrepresentations, false claims, and, according to those targeted, outright false accusations by their employees. Still, Ox Sam Camp continued for another week. The tipis, the sacred fire, and the prayers occurred for a total of twenty-seven days of ceremony and resistance.
The scene at Thacker Pass this week looked like Standing Rock, Line 3, or Oak Flat, as Lithium Nevada’s workers and heavy equipment tried to bulldoze and trench their way through the ceremonial grounds surrounding the tipi at Sentinel Rock, and water protectors put their bodies in the way of the destruction, forcing work stoppage on two occasions.
Observers stated that Lithium Nevada’s head of security was directing the Sheriff’s deputies where to go and what to do during the raid.
Lithium Nevada’s ownership and control of Thacker Pass only exists because of the flawed permitting and questionable administrative approvals issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM officials have refused to acknowledge that Peehee Mu’huh is a sacred site to regional Tribal Nations, and have continued to downplay and question the significance of the double massacre through two years of court battles.
Three tribes — the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Summit Lake Paiute Tribe, and Burns Paiute Tribe — remain locked in litigation with the Federal Government for permitting the mine. The tribes filed their latest response to the BLM’s Motion to Dismiss on Monday. BLM is part of the Department of the Interior which is led by Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo).
On Wednesday, at least five Sheriff’s vehicles, several Lithium Nevada worker vehicles, and two security trucks arrived at the original tipi site that contained the ceremonial fire, immediately adjacent to Pole Creek Road. One camper was arrested without warning, and others were issued with trespass warnings and allowed to leave the area. Once the main camp was secured, law enforcement then moved up to the tipi site at Sentinel Rock, a mile away.
There is a proper way to take down a tipi and ceremonial camp, and then there is the way Humboldt County Sheriffs proceeded on behalf of Lithium Nevada Corporation. Tipis were knocked down, tipi poles were snapped, and ceremonial objects and instruments were rummaged through, mishandled, and impounded. Empty tents were approached and secured in classic SWAT-raid fashion. One car was towed.
As is often the case when lost profits lead to government assaults on peaceful water protectors, Lithium Nevada Corporation and the Humboldt County Sheriffs have begun to claim that the raid was done for the safety of the camp members and for public health.
Josephine Dick (Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone), who is a descendent of Ox Sam and one of the matriarchs of Ox Sam Newe Momokonee Nokutun, made the following statement in response to the raid:
“As Vice Chair of the Native American Indian Church of the State of Nevada, and as a Paiute-Shoshone Tribal Nation elder and member, I am requesting the immediate access to and release of my ceremonial instruments and objects, including my Eagle Feathers and staff which have held the prayers of my ancestors and the Ox Sam camp since the beginning. There was also a ceremonial hand drum and medicines such as cedar and tobacco, which are protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
In addition, my understanding is that Humboldt County Sherriffs along with Lithium Nevada security desecrated two ceremonial tipi lodges, which include canvasses, poles, and ropes. The Ox Sam Newe Momokonee Nokutun has been conducting prayers and ceremony in these tipis which are also protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. When our ceremonial belongings are brought together around the sacred fire, this is our church. Our Native American church is a sacred ceremony. I am demanding the immediate access to our prayer site at Peehee Mu’huh and the return of our confiscated ceremonial objects.
The desecration that Humboldt County Sherriffs and Lithium Nevada conducted by knocking the tipis down and rummaging through sacred objects is equivalent to taking a bible, breaking The Cross, knocking down a cathedral, disrespecting the sacrament, and denying deacons and pastors access to their places of worship, in direct violation of my American Indian Religious Freedom rights. This violation of access to our ceremonial church and the ground on which it sits is a violation of Executive Order 13007.
The location of the tipi lodge that was pushed over and destroyed is at the base of Sentinel Rock, a place our Paiute-Shoshone have been praying since time immemorial. After two years of our people explaining that Peehee Mu’huh is sacred, BLM Winnemucca finally acknowledged that Thacker Pass is a Traditional Cultural District, but they are still allowing it to be destroyed.”
Josephine and others plan to make a statement on live stream outside the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in Winnemucca on the afternoon of Friday, June 9th around 1pm.
Another spiritual leader on the front lines has been Dean Barlese from the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Barlese led prayers at the site on April 25th which led to Lithium Nevada shutting down construction for a day, and returned on May 11th to pray over the new sacred fire as Ox Sam camp was established.
“This is not a protest, it’s a prayer,” said Barlese. “But they’re still scared of me. They’re scared of all of us elders, because they know we’re right and they’re wrong.”
Thacker Pass is located in northern Nevada near the Oregon border, where Lithium Nevada Corporation is in the first phase of building a $2 billion open-pit lithium mine which would be the largest of its kind in North America. The lithium is mainly destined for General Motors Corporation’s electric car batteries, which the corporation laughably claims is “green.” Mine opponents call this greenwashing and have stated that “it’s not green to blow up a mountain.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has granted Lithium Nevada corporation and all other business corporations a whole variety of constitutional “rights” that were never meant for business entities. Without these special so-called corporate “rights,” the mine owners would never have been allowed to construct this mine.
Three Native American tribes filed a new lawsuit against the Federal Government over Lithium Nevada Corporation’s planned Thacker Pass lithium mine on February 16, 2023, the latest legal move in the two-and-a-half-year struggle over mining, greenwashing, and sacred land in northern Nevada.
The Tribes notified the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 19th that they mean to appeal their Motion seeking a Preliminary Injunction which was rejected by a lower court in early March. Four environmental groups which lost their case in January have also appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and are expected to be heard in June.
O’odham Executed by Border Patrol: Statement by Raymond Mattia Family
Raymond Mattia of the Tohono O’odham Nation was executed by US border patrol agents on May 18th at his home. He was reportedly shot 38 times.
A peaceful gathering to support all victims of the
unmonitored violent actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies will be held at The Border
Patrol Station in Why, Az, and Tucson on Golf Links Road this Saturday, May 27th, from
For more information please visit: https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2023/05/us-border-patrol-shoots-tohono-oodham.html
Statement by Mattia Raymond’s family:
We have been trying to find the strength to write this statement. This tragedy is so
grievous because it is apparent what had happened. Raymond called for help and, in turn, was
shot down at his doorstep. Raymond’s rights were violated by the authorities whom we trust to
protect our Nation. Improper and unprofessional actions of the agencies involved were witnessed
by family members present near the crime scene. Loved ones sat in agony, not knowing of
Raymond’s condition until they were told that he had passed hours later. Raymond lay in front of
his home for seven hours before a coroner from Tucson arrived.
In our eyes and hearts, we believe that Raymond was approached with excessive and
deadly force that took his life. He was a father, brother, uncle, friend, and an involved
community member. Raymond always fought for what was right, and he will continue to fight
even after his death. This is not an isolated incident, but it should bring awareness of the
oppression our people live through.
We want to thank so many of you for your condolences and support. A GoFundMe for
defense funds will be available soon. A peaceful gathering to support all victims of the
unmonitored violent actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies will be held at The Border Patrol Station in Why, Az, and Tucson on Golf Links Road this Saturday, May 27th, from 10:00am-Noon.
Contact for support: email@example.com
The Intercept and Grist begin release of 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents
Article by Brenda Norrell, Censored News
Reprinted with permission.
April 14, 2023
The Intercept and Grist began releasing new TigerSwan spy documents in new coverage of the mercenaries hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline. They now have 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents, and another 9,000 are held up in the court battle for now. The documents reveal TigerSwan spying on Water Protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota, Bold Iowa, and at other locations.
The article follows an expensive court battle by The Intercept seeking the release of the documents. The North Dakota Supreme Court ordered the release after TigerSwan was found operating without a license in North Dakota.
“The released documents provide startling new details about how TigerSwan used social media monitoring, aerial surveillance, radio eavesdropping, undercover personnel, and subscription-based records databases to build watchlists and dossiers on Indigenous activists and environmental organizations,” The Intercept writes. Read the article at The Intercept: https://theintercept.com/2023/04/13/standing-rock-tigerswan-protests/
Paiute journalist, drone activist and filmmaker Myron Dewey was among those that TigerSwan spied on and stalked at Standing Rock 2016-2017, as revealed in the new documents that were ordered released by the court.
On Tuesday, the driver that killed Myron Dewey on an isolated road near his family’s home in Yomba, Nevada, entered a surprise plea bargain deal that was cut with a new prosecutor assigned to the case in Nye County, Nevada. John Walsh pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter.
This TigerSwan spy document, showing TigerSwan stalking Myron Dewey and Prolific the Rapper at Standing Rock on Dec. 17, 2016, is from the new documents at The Intercept. Document link: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/23773105-tigerswan-document-daily-intelligence-update-20161217
Below: From the TigerSwan spy files just released: The power of the global movement, with its heart in Standing Rock.
Below: The first flood of documents show how rattled DAPL was over the involvement of celebrities, the Standing Rock Chairman at the United Nations, Bernie Sanders, the Palestinian flag flying, and big orgs. The doc is from a pitch that TigerSwan made for more work, hustling another pipeline to spy on resistance.
|Above: TigerSwan surveillance used drones and helicopters.https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/23773104-tigerswan-document-daily-intelligence-update-20161014|
Above: TigerSwan spy file at Bold Iowa. The mercenaries hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline called Bold Iowa Water Protectors “belligerents.” Document link:
TigerSwan spied on, and stalked the media, including Paiute journalist Myron Dewey, Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, and myself, publisher of Censored News, as revealed in the newly released documents by The Intercept and Grist. TigerSwan used its surveillance on the media in its pitches for more spy work to other oil and pipeline companies.
TigerSwan turned its surveillance at Standing Rock into a potential money maker, using it for powerpoints in its pitches to other oil and pipeline companies for spy work.
TigerSwan even stalked the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in its high-stakes spying for dollars.
TigerSwan’s Opposition Model, shown below, was used as a potential maker in PowerPoints to other oil and pipeline companies.
The Intercept described the battle for these documents.
“A discovery request filed as part of the case forced thousands of new internal TigerSwan documents into the public record. Energy Transfer’s lawyers fought for nearly two years to keep the documents secret, until North Dakota’s Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that the material falls under the state’s open records statute,” The Intercept said.
“Because an arrangement between North Dakota and Energy Transfer allows the fossil fuel company to weigh in on which documents should be redacted, the state has yet to release over 9,000 disputed pages containing material that Energy Transfer is, for now at least, fighting to keep out of the public eye.”
TigerSwan spy documents on Water Protectors
Note: The documents show that TigerSwan spied on Censored News, as shown in today’s article at The Intercept.
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