The Latest From the CJ Project: A Navajo Officer’s Death and the Dangers of Indian Country’s Remote Landscapes

Navajo Nation police officer James Largo (Photo: Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President via AP)

Navajo Nation police officer James Largo (Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President via Associated Press)

In the latest story from the CJ Project, the recent death of Navajo Nation police officer James Largo brings to light the scarce number of officers on the tribal police force. Largo, a five-year veteran of the Navajo Nation police force, was responding to a domestic violence call alone when he faced gunfire and was found critically wounded.

His death has brought more focus on the dangers that Indian Country’s remote landscapes can pose for officers both within the Navajo Nation’s understaffed police department and on remote reservations from the Dakotas to the Southwest. According to statistics, domestic violence calls prove to be the most dangerous for tribal police officers.

On the Navajo Nation, there is roughly one officer for every 1,000 residents. The last three fatal shootings of Navajo officers, including Largo, happened while responding to reports of domestic disputes. The others included Officer Alex Yazzie in March 2015 near Red Valley, Arizona, and Sgt. Darrell Cervandez Curley in Kaibeto, Arizona, in 2011. Read the full article on The Seattle Times.

 


Featured image courtesy of the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President and AP Photos.