Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Lari will seek police recording


Resident Dean “Bear” Lari this week said he would hire a lawyer to seek a police recording of a disputed encounter between him and Haines Borough police officer Simon Ford.

“I like the people at the police department, but that is not the issue. The whole issue is about the truth. This is about character and morals and what we believe in as human beings,” Lari said.

Borough police chief Gary Lowe on Tuesday said he wouldn’t release a recording of a conversation between officer Ford and resident Lari on July 4.

Police approached Lari about a suspected methamphetamine sale during an evening concert at the Fort Seward parade grounds around 10 p.m. Discrepancies about what ensued include Lari’s allegations that Ford accused two local youths of using meth and ordered Lari and the youths to empty their pockets.

Ford denies making the accusation and said he asked them to empty their pockets after getting a report that a person witnessed a drug deal.

“It’s not appropriate to mediate something like this through the newspaper,” Lowe said. “I talked to Dean (about the incident) and he was satisfied. I think it’s shameful to put in the newspaper that Simon Ford is a liar. That’s the furthest thing from the truth,” Lowe said.

Lari’s complaint concerned police procedure and Ford’s actions were “perfectly legal and appropriate,” Lowe said.

Lari said he would drop the matter if Ford were to apologize about the incident that Lari said damaged his reputation and constituted an illegal search.

“I’ve basically been called a liar. So let somebody hear the tape. It’s all on the tape. And if they say that tape doesn’t exist, the sky’s the limit as far as how far I’ll take this,” Lari said. “The more they continue to lie, the more ‘not over’ it is,” Lari said.

Lari said the incident has affected his personal life and his relations with others in town.


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