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Behind the News Mar 06, 2019

Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos seeks sovereignty for tribes, independent review for police officer shootings

Rockland — Ed. Note: In his video interview, Evangelos mistakenly refers to a police shooting in Fairfield. He contacted us after the interview to say he meant to say Farmington.

Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, visited the VillageSoup studio March 1 to talk about several bills he has been working on in the 129th Maine Legislature.

Evangelos had submitted a bill that would clarify the Federal Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 to allow Maine's tribes to have the same sovereignty offered in other states. This would allow the tribes to open casinos without seeking approval from the state government, although that issue is not the only focus of the bill.

The lawmaker has also submitted a bill that would require an independent review board to investigate police officer shootings. He said it is a conflict of interest for law enforcement to try to investigate other law enforcement. Currently, police shootings are investigated by the Maine Attorney General's Office.

In addition, Evangelos has put forward measures that would allow a fair hearing of all evidence in a post-conviction review involving a claim of innocence, and funding compensation for the unjustly incarcerated. He cites cases in Maine where individuals who were convicted of crimes and served prison sentences were later found to be innocent.

In another measure, he is working to force cable TV companies to allow customers to purchase access to individual channels, rather than having to buy packages with large numbers of channels including ones the customer does not want.

Meteorologist Tyler Southard provides video editing for VillageSoup interviews.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Carrie Bacon | Mar 08, 2019 13:22

These efforts by Mr. Evangelos seem like common sense measures that, I hope, face little or no opposition in legislative passage.  I particularly like the “a la carte” subscription tv measure as way too much junk appears on television.  The measure for independent review of police-involved shootings will provide a more bias-free review for high emotion cases, protecting both the officer(s) and the involved citizen, assuring justice.  The post-conviction review, also in the interest of justice, sounds like a fair measure with compensation an issue that needs discussion.  Regarding sovereignty for First People, although I have mixed feelings on using it solely for the establishment of casinos and gambling, it IS the First People’s right to finally be recognized as unique, independent nations as they were before the Collier Act and others that applied one-sided rulings.



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