Cowboys and Indians

Scottsdale PD officers charge onto the reservation, spark grand jury investigation

Chornenky defends Rode's actions. "He did nothing wrong. In my opinion, he acted according to his training," he says. The attorney has also retained a polygraph expert who says Rode is telling the truth when he says he believed his life was in danger, based on an exam of the officer.

Chornenky thinks that the case against his client is politically motivated.
"In my opinion, the only reason the U.S. Attorney's Office is going after this thing is because I think there is some conflict between the Salt River Indian police and the Scottsdale police."

Det. Lt. Karl Auerbach of the Salt River tribal police force, while not commenting on the Rode case, says that his department is only motivated by probable cause.

"I certainly assure anyone that the Salt River Police Department is never motivated politically to investigate any alleged criminal offense," he says.

Rode was reinstated after an internal affairs investigation by the Scottsdale Police Department, Chornenky says, but was placed on leave again after the department was informed he was under investigation by the grand jury. A legal-defense fund has been established by Rode's fellow officers.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, following standard procedure, refused to confirm or deny any grand jury investigation.

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