"This is a gerrymander where the people in power pick their voters rather than the other way around."
Dr. Kenneth hansen at fresno state is closely watching the events unfold on the Chuckchansi reservation. He's an expert on Indian affairs and gaming, and has published a book on the subject.
He says what's happening to the Chuckchansi tribe has happened to other tribes. A power struggle erupts, after tribal members are "dis-enrolled" or booted out. And a new council is voted in to replace the old regime.
"It's simply about power. It's about winning the next election. It would be like all of a sudden the democrats say you know what, we're not going to let the republicans vote in the next election, meaning that they would win."
Dr. Hansen says the dis-enrollment impacted dozens of tribal members. It ends all financial support and other benefits. That, he says is violation of basic civil rights.
Hansen says today's violence sends the wrong message to those who live outside tribal grounds-- that a visit to the casino may be unsafe.
"When stuff like this happens it generates a whole bunch of bad publicity and I can see a situation happening where people just boycott Indian casinos because they may be in fear for their public safety."
Dr. Hansen says the Bureau of Indian Affairs should have stepped in to resolve the Chukchansi dispute long before it became violent.