BIA agent caught hitting unarmed female with baton and arresting her as Tribe says ‘No Forcible Removal’
By Black Powder | RPM Staff, Feb 06 2017 • Updated
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials said this weekend they were working with federal authorities to close the Dakota Access Pipeline camps for safety reasons.
On Friday, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) said the agency had sent “enforcement support and would assist the tribe” in closing the protest camps within its reservation boundaries.
But Tribal officials responded over the weekend that while they wanted people to close the camps and leave the reservation, they did not want them arrested or ousted by force.
“We want to stress that we are cleaning the camps, not clearing them,” the tribe posted on Facebook on Saturday. “We do not support or endorse any ‘raids.’ We have not asked for law enforcement to assist in clearing camps and in fact have repeatedly told them there will be no forcible removal.”
On Saturday evening, a video emerged out of Standing Rock which showed a female water protector beaten by a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officer with his baton during an arrest. The unarmed woman is seen walking away from a BIA agent when he starts to hit her with the weapon. The woman can be heard yelling at the officer during the attack “Stop brutalizing me”
Will Barton uploaded the video to his Facebook page shortly after the incident occurred on February 4. 2017.
The altercation took place along the road going into Sacred Stone Camp.
Three people were said to be arrested.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe put out a Press Release yesterday, including more information about the incident.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe denounces any violence and it is very important to maintain peace on all sides. Although we don’t know all the facts, the Bureau is conducting an investigation.”
“From information provided thus far, we understand that a tribal citizen of the Cannonball community called the police due to individuals blocking road access to the caller’s home. When law enforcement arrived at the scene, officers were subsequently pepper sprayed by the individuals at the roadblock. This led to an altercation and arrests at the scene. The safety of Tribal citizens remains our top priority and we denounce all forms of violence.”
After months of protests, both tribal officials and residents in the town of Cannon Ball, have asked those opposed to completion of the controversial, 1,170-mile pipeline to leave.
The Standing Rock Tribe has asked camps to disband by Feb. 22, before the spring flooding season.