Embers Grille Chef Says Lighthorse Police Acted Out Of Line During Raid
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - The executive chef at Embers Grille says the Creek Nation's Lighthorse police put a gun in his face, in his back and forced him to the ground, all without identifying who they were or why they were raiding the restaurant.
Federal lawsuits have already been filed over the incident.
Chris Bullis had recently left his job for the promise of this one.
He thinks the Lighthorse police acted out of line during the raid and says he's still in fear for his and his family's safety.
"It was like a joke to them,” said Bullis. “It's not a joke to us. It's our family. It's our livelihood. There's a lot of families depending on this right now."
Bullis was in the Embers Grille kitchen when he heard yelling.
"Me and my crew, we had just finished a tasting for the day,” he recalled. "Screaming, 'Get the f--- on the ground. Get on the ground."
He thought it was a prank but then noticed “a group of heavily armed people” running at them.
“They didn't announce that they were police,” he said. “We were scared."
Terrified and on the floor, Bullis says the men pointed guns at them.
"We kept asking who they were, and they told us it didn't matter and that we just need to shut up and stay with our face on the ground.”
He claims his staff was led into another room, joining others.
He says after 20 minutes, they were told of the search warrant.
Bullis claims he gave the Lighthorse police his keys, a work knife, and says they demanded he give them his identification.
"Just thought it was a big joke, and it wasn't a big joke,” he stated.
A lawsuit filed in Washington claims, "all Creek tribal entities share an undivided ownership of all Creek lands and, consequently, joint jurisdiction over those lands."
"I've seen all the documents that say we are legal to be gaming there,” said Bullis.
The lawsuit claims the Kialegee Tribal Town is an original member of the Creek Confederacy and the treaty between them and the U.S. Government gives them equal rights of jurisdiction. It asks the federal government to "terminate the controversy."
Bullis sent a letter to the Department of Justice of Indian Affairs asking for an investigation into how the employees were treated.
All employees were allowed to leave but Bullis claims they didn't get all their personal property back.
The Muscogee Creek Nation contends there is no multi-tribal jurisdiction over former reservation lands.