Sponsored
Categories: News

Burning Man Police Raids Already Skyrocketing

Sponsored
Sponsored

Longtime Burning Man attendees know that once you turn off Interstate 80 in Fernley, Nevada, you find yourself on a narrow stretch of road called State Route 447 that has very low speed limits and a whole lot of police looking to pull you over for even the tiniest infraction. Those police stops and searches have gone off the charts for this year’s event, as federal agents have busted out a new army of officers and K9 drug-sniffing dogs — before Burning  Man has even started.

Reports of excessive police searches first surfaced on social media this past weekend, as seen in the Facebook video above. The situation escalated so severely that Burning Man just released a statement calling the police stops “ overly aggressive, unconstitutional, unnecessary, pretextual and unacceptable.”

“This is the first time the Burning Man event has been targeted for an operation of this magnitude on public highways,” the Burning Man statement says. “Stops appear to be pretextual and not based on actual violations of law. Event organizers and many regional law enforcement agencies were not consulted or notified in advance, so there was no possibility of any planning to mitigate impacts on the local communities and on event infrastructure.”

These particular stops and searches are not being conducted by your regular Nevada Highway Patrol or Washoe County Sheriff’s deputies, but instead by a federal agency called the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The BIA has never had a significant presence at Burning Man, but some of State Route 447 does go through Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal lands.

“This is the first year I’ve seen [Bureau of Indian Affairs] officers out here at this time,” Paiute Tribe member Mike Harden told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Usually they only come out for serious crimes, like meth rings.”

“It’s hard to say if they came out just for Burning Man, or they’re just sending them out here since apparently they’re increasing the Bureau’s presence on tribal lands across the U.S. generally.”

The Bureau of Indian Affairs in not necessarily a Native American advocacy group, but instead an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior that provides federal oversight of the administration of tribal lands.

The Gazette-Journal also notes that “Tribal members noticed the BIA’s presence starting last week when tribal members starting getting pulled over for going as little as 3 mph over the posted speed limit.”

Burning Man’s statement notes that people are being pulled over and fully searched for other ticky-tack offenses like “not stopping at the line at a stop sign, crossing the centerline or a tire touching the centerline, partially obscured license plates, not using turn signals, [or] dim and non-functioning lights.”

If you are heading out to Burning Man this year, the Burning Man newsletter has issued updated 2018 guidelines for what to do if you’re pulled over by law enforcement that take this increased BIA presence into account.

Sponsored
Joe Kukura

Recent Posts

Orville Peck & Dick Stusso at Swedish American Hall, August 19, 2019

Masked cowboy Orville Peck rocked the Swedish American Hall this past Monday, August 19th with a headlining performance celebrating his…

8 hours ago

Avett Brothers at Greek Theatre on August 17, 2019

The Avett Brothers high-stepped onto stage to a fantastic show at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley. The band is always…

9 hours ago

Young the Giant at the Greek Theatre on August 15, 2019

Young the Giant, Fitz and the Tantrums and Alice Merton played an amazing show at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley!…

9 hours ago

DAY TRADING PRINCIPLES FOR BEGINNER

In order to thrive in any trading market, one needs to create an effective trading strategy, one that guides your…

13 hours ago

Modesto Bigots’ Protest Garners S.F. Attention

Organizers of Modesto’s straight pride parade may not have permits for a grand celebration but they’re still planning to make…

15 hours ago

Keeping the Homeless Out of Sight Makes Their Lives More Dangerous

Nearly 10,000 people in San Francisco are homeless, with a nightly shelter bed waitlist that hasn’t dropped below 1,000 in…

1 day ago