Overkill on the rez

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Bear Lincoln, who lives on the Round Valley Indian reservation, has reason to fear the cops. Lincoln was the subject of a massive manhunt in 1995 after a gunfight he was involved in ended with a cop and Lincoln’s best friend dead. He spent two years in jail awaiting trial, only to be freed in 1997 after his acquittal. Now he’s back in jail, and his allies say he might be the victim of a law-enforcement vendetta, because local cops in Covelo, Calif. believe Lincoln, despite the acquittal, is a cop killer who got away with it.

Lincoln was arrested March 21 on suspicion of shooting into another house on the reservation and recklessly endangering a child inside. Shootings like this have happened with regularity on the reservation — where inter-clan feuds are common and long-standing — without any police investigations. No one was hurt in the incident, but still about 20 officers, some decked out in SWAT-team regalia, converged on Round Valley when they heard Lincoln was the suspect.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend