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May 10, 2016 4:19 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Shinnecock Tribal Member Fights For More Than Parking Ticket

Dyani Brown will appear in court on May 17 to dispute a parking ticket she received at Coopers Beach on August 9, 2014.
May 11, 2016 1:31 PM

A member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation has a date in Southampton Village Justice Court next week, where she will fight for rights she believes have been in place since before European settlers arrived in the 1600s.

On Tuesday, May 17, Dyani Brown will appear in court to dispute a parking ticket she received at Coopers Beach in the village on August 9, 2014. She argues that, as a member of the Nation who lives on the reservation just outside the village boundaries, she should be allowed to park at village beaches for free, as village residents can.

“I responded to the ticket with a plea of ‘not guilty’ on the grounds that my Shinnecock citizenship is proof of my local residency,” said Ms. Brown, 33.

Since then, Ms. Brown has petitioned members of the Southampton Village Board and the Town Board, requesting that anyone with a federally issued Shinnecock Tribal ID card be allowed to visit and park at all beaches in both the town and village without any fees. Since sending the letter to officials on September 8, 2014, Ms. Brown said she has received little to no feedback.

Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said he is aware of the letter, as well as an email that Ms. Brown sent to him. He said that those who live on the reservation are not considered residents of the Village of Southampton, and village officials have not looked into changing that.

“The reality is, it is an issue for the court system to handle,” Mr. Epley said.

Tribe members are not considered village residents, and are required to pay non-resident rates of $40 per day, or $225 per season, to access village beach parking lots.

On that beach day in August 2014, Ms. Brown said, she attempted to find a parking space at Road D in the village, where a village permit is not required and parking is free, but found all of the spaces occupied. “I drove to Coopers Beach and showed my federal Tribal Identification Card at the gate,” said Ms. Brown. “I was told that I would have to pay $40 or ‘park at my own risk.’”

She chose the latter, displaying her Tribal ID in her window above her registration. When she returned to her car three hours later, she found a ticket that noted that she had “ignored attendant’s request not to park.”

After lapsing on paying the ticket for nearly two years, Ms. Brown now owes close to $600.

“It’s not about the parking ticket at all,” she said. “I just want the village and the town to recognize our inherent rights to access coastal areas as a simple continuity of the warranted respect of our current and historical influence.”

Other members of the tribe have received parking tickets at Coopers Beach in the past, Ms. Brown said, but she added that some of those tickets were dismissed when the tribe members showed their IDs. She said her problem is with the inconsistency of how the tickets are handled.

The Shinnecock Reservation is on the water, Ms. Brown said, but beach access is limited. She said it is difficult for tribe members to get children and elders to the beaches. That, she said, is a problem, because that also makes it difficult to pass along knowledge of, and appreciation for, the sea. “We are the ‘people of the stony shore,’” Ms. Brown said. “By them trying to inhibit our access to our coastal waters, it’s a disruption to who we are as people.”

The case has been adjourned a number of times because Ms. Brown has been attending college at American University in Washington, D.C. She graduated earlier this month with a bachelor’s degree in public communications and marketing.

Her online petition supporting her cause has received over 500 signatures, and Ms. Brown says members of the Tribal Council, which she has served on in the past, have given their support.

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I'm pretty sure the res is just outside of the village boundaries, and the fact that the Village PD is not allowed to patrol it - generally only the State Police enter, to enforce State laws - imply she's just another misguided person looking for a freebie, or notoriety.
By Funbeer (271), Southampton on May 10, 16 5:03 PM
Can't have it both ways...either pay village taxes or pay for a sticker.
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on May 10, 16 5:51 PM
Clearly you miss the point.....freebie is the land on which you currently reside, which was stolen from Native American. Why should we pay to utilize beaches that were stolen??? Perhaps hamptonites and Epley will not get the picture until they have Rev. Al Sharpton and the like marching down Main Street and Jobs lane!!!
By Kendogz (8), Southampton on May 10, 16 6:33 PM
Curious why Al Sharpton's would be interested in an issue like this.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on May 11, 16 3:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
The clear and simple fact is .... The ticket was issued for PARKING in an area that is restricted to daily or seasonal permits. It has nothing to do with access to the beach. Anyone, Tribal member or not as full and free access to the beach. For those who don't want to pay, they can always park their vehicle in any one of the FREE parking lots in the village and take the FREE shuttle to the FREE beach. For others who even want to be more healthy, they may ride their bicycles to any town beach and ...more
By jediscuba (71), Bayside on May 13, 16 11:23 AM
2 members liked this comment
Donald will build a wall to keep Sharpton out
By fire11 (276), east hampton on May 10, 16 6:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Lol!! Now that's funny!
By Kendogz (8), Southampton on May 10, 16 6:46 PM
Hello I'm entitled
By chief1 (2783), southampton on May 10, 16 7:13 PM
As Natives, we didn't come up with a tax, we didn't tax the settlers,that's something that was created by them. We were here and are still here and shouldn't have to deal with accessing waters that we freely accessed before they were taken. Freebies, nothing is free, millions died by the hands of U.S> government but we still fought and died in the U.S. Armed forces and had to become American citizens to do so. Not that we were treated any better coming home. Anyways this place needs better education, ...more
By adczeta (78), southampton on May 10, 16 7:20 PM
So who is responsible for this "peep" of which you speak?

You can continue to divide by speaking of others as "them", very constructive.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on May 10, 16 8:57 PM
peep is slang for word, Not a single word was stated about the article no comments, no responses. It's only when there is negative coverage or something people can spit their prejudice attitude at.
By adczeta (78), southampton on May 11, 16 7:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
Unfortunately that is what the Press and the press in general, thrives on. If it is good news, they don't want to cover it. Bad news - they send out the troops. Negativity is what they market.
By bb (909), Hampton Bays on May 11, 16 5:23 PM
Its about the money
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on May 10, 16 7:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
Solipsistic posturing. Ms. Brown has all the rights of any citizen - - - and no more. Her descent from a prior civilization is irrelevant. Our Liberal constitution recognizes NO class distinctions thereby.

God bless those Founding Fathers!
By highhatsize (4175), East Quogue on May 10, 16 8:12 PM
First it's not a prior civilization, since we are still here. That's the problem with education in the country, we have always been here, never went anywhere.
By adczeta (78), southampton on May 11, 16 7:47 AM
2 members liked this comment
to adczeta:

Quote:

"[W]e have always been here, never went anywhere."
---------------------------------------

And welcome you are to remain - - - with the same rights and obligations of any citizen, including those whose ancestors were born elsewhere. Period.

May 11, 16 10:13 AM appended by highhatsize
to adczeta (& bigfresh): "PRIOR - existing earlier in time" (Merriam-Webster.) LITERACY - - - it's a wonderful thing.
By highhatsize (4175), East Quogue on May 11, 16 10:13 AM
By her thinking, she should be able to use any private or municipal beach, facility, etc.

#should have paid the original ticket
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on May 10, 16 8:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Keep Columbus Day on the Southampton School Calendar!
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on May 10, 16 10:46 PM
I agree with her. Tribal members showing their Federal ID should be able to access the beaches free of charge. HH , you are a pompous ass, the Shinnecock Nation is alive and well, not part of a prior civilization.
By bigfresh (4589), north sea on May 11, 16 5:40 AM
Well said Bigfresh!!!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on May 11, 16 8:27 AM
I can't tell, was she denied acces to the beach? Or just ticked for parking where she was told not to?
By sparkhampton (27), Hampton Bays on May 11, 16 6:07 AM
Just another person with nothing better to do. Pay for the pass and move on. And for the Al Sharpton comment that person can shut up because Al Sharpton can't even pay his taxes. What a joke some people are, they don't even think before typing. You can't make this stuff up.
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on May 11, 16 6:48 AM
3 members liked this comment
Village residents do not use the beaches for "free" as the article states, we pay taxes to support the beaches. Just another freebie seeker, no more.
By gusef (53), Southampton on May 11, 16 7:57 AM
Why would the press even write about this. What a Joke! "more than a parking ticket" - I sure its just a ticket so pay it and move on. What a wast of tax payers money
By farmlocal (83), Southampton on May 11, 16 12:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Genius!!!! Let me reiterate for the educationally challenged......when you STEAL land from someone and then tell them that they have to pay to use it is CRIMINAL!!!! Then I have some Buffoon talk about founding fathers.......should be found fathers....... They found out people we living here before they got here. There is a group of people that should NEVER talk about FREEBIES, lest we talk about free land, albeit stolen, or free labor......oh that's called slavery. Listen, stop the conversation ...more
By Kendogz (8), Southampton on May 11, 16 5:29 PM
3 members liked this comment
There is a statute of limitations involved here; you can't claim for things that happened over 100 years ago. You were not living over a century ago, and, what happened then is finished.

If you don't like what happened over 100 years ago, there is nothing you can do about it. Get a life and move on with your life instead of ranting and raving about things that happened years ago. People who live outside the village (shinnecock hills) pay --- why shouldn't you? If you don't want to ...more
By JohnSmith (25), Johnson City, Tennessee on May 14, 16 12:44 AM
Ms Brown , Bravo to you for standing up for your rights!! I would be happy to sign the petition....if that link could be provided.....
By toes in the water (884), southampton on May 11, 16 6:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
On a personal level , I have always considered the Rez to be part of the village .
By AndersEn (173), Southampton on May 11, 16 6:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Good luck !
By AndersEn (173), Southampton on May 11, 16 6:29 PM
Proximity yes. But think about it. The whole notion of the Rez is its sovereignty. How can it be both that and part of an incorporated village?
That said I think the village should recognize that there is an historical inseparable relationship between the two entities something should be worked out. They recognized the beauty of the east end first, after all.
By jams (128), hampton bays on May 12, 16 10:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
to Kwndogz:

Nothing more than another claim of exceptional privilege on the basis of blood, a vile concept that was the cause of our revolution and whose unequivocal rejection is the core of our constitution. If you don't like that fundamental law, change it. (The Native American Aristocracy Party, perhaps?) In the meantime, if you violate the law (even on the basis of what you consider to be righteous ideological grounds) you will pay the price.

In this case, it appears to ...more
By highhatsize (4175), East Quogue on May 11, 16 6:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Agreed HH. We cannot start assigning privilege based upon lineage or when ones ancestors first arrived on this continent, any more than by what continent they came from. BTW Shinnecock ancestors came from Asia.
By smacw (240), New York on May 19, 16 2:16 PM
My prior post still stands!! Just more pseudo intellectual clap trap , this time directed at the very people who were here before your kin slid in here.
By bigfresh (4589), north sea on May 11, 16 7:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
You people are nuts. If it wasn't for Americans fighting ww2 there would be no native Americans left. The Germans would have exterminated anyone not white. So stop with the ignorant bs as if any human has some special rights over another. Pay your ticket and move on or stay off taxpayers roads!
By chief1 (2783), southampton on May 12, 16 1:34 AM
Actually Natives fought in the war too, like my family that have a few Native Veterans, we have fought and died in every war since. Secondly the U.S. wasn't the only country fighting that war, 3rd, thanks for the millions of us that were killed prior to the Nazi threat.
By adczeta (78), southampton on May 12, 16 12:13 PM
Ira Hayes
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on May 20, 16 11:13 AM
Maybe the solution is for the Shinnecock Indian Nation to negotiate an agreement with Southhampton Village for access on behalf of its residents.
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on May 12, 16 8:37 AM
We all pay for the beach through our taxes and an additional fee for our parking permit. As a town resident I would have to pay a non-resident fee to the Village, at a slightly reduced rate for being a town resident. I do not know what the the situation is for the Shinnecocks since they reside neither in the town or village but it seems that they are charged a non-resident fee. It would seem fair to that they be allowed to purchase parking permits at the resident rate as they are year round residents--at ...more
By V.Tomanoku (788), southampton on May 12, 16 10:03 AM
members of the Shinnecock Nation should have unfettered access to all the Hampton beaches, but get to them in the same fashion their ancestors did - walk!
By e&h (2), hampton bays on May 12, 16 5:04 PM
It is a grievous mistake to encourage presumptuous elitists.

The village justice should exact the full penalty from Ms. Brown and thus make it clear to all such that we will tolerate no diminution of our constitutional rights.
By highhatsize (4175), East Quogue on May 12, 16 5:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/General-Interest-Southampton/479211/Lacrosse-Game-On-Reservation-Fosters-Spirit-Of-Community-In-Southampton

How about comment on this, since people don't say anything when positive activities are reported from the Reservation. If your going to troll on the negative or what you feel is negative, at least be balanced.
By adczeta (78), southampton on May 12, 16 5:37 PM
The clear and simple fact is .... The ticket was issued for PARKING in an area that is restricted to daily or seasonal permits. It has nothing to do with access to the beach. Anyone, Tribal member or not as full and free access to the beach. For those who don't want to pay, they can always park their vehicle in any one of the FREE parking lots in the village and take the FREE shuttle to the FREE beach. For others who even want to be more healthy, they may ride their bicycles to any town beach and ...more
By jediscuba (71), Bayside on May 13, 16 11:23 AM
Excellent point!
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on May 13, 16 11:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
Also, you may park there for free before 9am and after 5pm. I believe that those are the hours. Check the sign.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on May 13, 16 12:02 PM
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