Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

U.N. Investigator: Native American Rights Violated by DAPL Law Enforcement

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz visited Dakota Access protest camps in Morton County.

Tauli-Corpuz is the U.N.’s special investigator on the rights of indigenous peoples.

She says authorities used unnecessary force and that the reports of the cleanup in the county have been blown out of proportion.

She also says the Standing Rock Sioux tribe was not consulted on major issues.

Gov. Burgum says the state is focused on maintaining peace, protecting the environment and restoring a good relationship with the tribe.

Tauli-Corpuz’s report will be given in September to the U.N. Human Rights Council.


Hwy 1806: Protectors Back Off; Shots Fired and DAPL Security Arrested for AR-15 Attack at Oceti Sakowin Camp

Mike Vosburg / The Forum

Mike Vosburg / The Forum

Update: Day after police sweep the camp, tribal elders negotiate peaceful end to Backwater Bridge standoff

By Red Power Media, Staff | Oct 28, 2016

In the aftermath of Thursday’s confrontation near Cannon Ball N.D., where 142 people were arrested and three shots were fired at law enforcement officers, water protectors again occupied the Backwater Bridge and roadway throughout Friday, where the controversial Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) is being built.

A couple of hundred protesters again faced off with law enforcement officerson Friday. But this time, the use of pepper spray and military-style Humvees was averted when elders of the Standing Rock Tribe brokered a truce on the bridge littered with burnt-out vehicles and police barricades. Protesters were persuaded to clear the bridge following negotiations between officers and tribal elders.


Negotiations made between officers and tribal elders at police barricade on edge of Backwater bridge.

Omaha World-Herald‎ reported, Miles Allard, who has allowed protesters since April to camp on land that he owns with his wife, said he intervened because of concerns that people were going to get hurt.

“I told them to back off and we’d back off,” Allard said. “Their main concern was to get people off the highway. … My main concern was prayer and nonviolence.”

 Miles Allard, a tribal elder who negotiated a peaceful stand-down between pipeline protesters and authorities on Friday. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Miles Allard, tribal elder who negotiated a peaceful stand-down between pipeline protesters and authorities on Friday. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

“We are not going away,” says Miles Allard, a tribal elder who negotiated the peaceful stand-down between pipeline protesters and authorities on Friday.

Both sides backed off to clear a Highway 1806 bridge where the tense confrontation began Thursday.

Allard, 68, a Turtle Mountain Chippewa elder and a lifelong resident of the Standing Rock reservation, said protesters aren’t backing down but that the only way they will win is through prayer and nonviolence.

Authorities on Friday also allowed tribal officials to remove about a dozen teepees from the site of a camp

The highway bridge, which has been closed in conjunction with Highway 1806, crosses over Cantapeta Creek north of Cannonball. The bridge, on which debris burned throughout the night and into Friday morning, has been declared unsafe for anyone to cross and will remain closed until any damage to the structure is evaluated by bridge engineers. During the closure, motorists need to use alternate routes.

Meanwhile, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations investigators were combing through the remnants of a north camp that was cleared of protesters on Thursday — treating it as a crime scene. In addition, 70 vehicles were towed from the scene.


Tires burn as law enforcement officers stand in formation on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.

Thursday, about 200 heavily armed police in riot gear, with military equipment, launched a midday operation to remove demonstrators from their encampment on private land.

According to press reports and social media posts, police ordered Native American water protectors and Environmental activists occupying a camp in the path of the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to leave — or be arrested. The sheriff’s department announced it was also dismantling a roadblock set up on highway 1806.

Law enforcement demanded that the protesters leave on Wednesday but they had refused.

“Move to the south,” police said over the loudspeaker.

The protesters who prefer to be called water protectors, refused to leave the land in the pipeline’s path ― owned by the pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners. Members of the tribe say the land they were occupying is rightfully theirs and authorities were failing to respect two treaties ratified by the federal government.

A stand-off with police lasted for several hours before authorities moved closer to the camp and started to forcibly remove the water protectors.

Law enforcement used a long range acoustic device (LRAD) sonic weapon that could be heard on live streams. Riot police used batons, pepper spray, tasers and non-lethal ammo (rubber/bean bags) on the protesters who were defending the new Oceti Sakowin camp, according to Facebook videos and live streams from the site. Some campers ran from the violent response as police pursued.

One water protector was shot in the face, two teen horse riders were shot at and one horse was injured by a police projectile another horse died from police gunfire.

The protest has lingered for months, which began when Native Americans of the Standing Rock reservation claimed the pipeline threatens sacred land and local water reserves.

Determined to be the last line of defense between the pipeline and Missouri River, the water protectors stood their ground.

Protesters are burning tires, logs and other objects, sending smoke onto the roadway. A car has also been torched, journalist Jason Patinkin tweeted.

In retaliation of the police repression, they also reportedly threw rocks, logs, bottles and other debris at riot police as the tensions reached new heights.

Some prayed in circles while others yelled at advancing members of law enforcement, according to The Associated Press.

“Stand up, rise up, find your warrior spirit!” one protester chanted.

Later in the evening, protesters started two fires on the Backwater Bridge and threw Molotov cocktails at authorities, according to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

Morton County Sheriff deputies were assisted in the sweep of the camp and roadblocks, by the N. Dakota State Patrol, National Guard and law enforcement officers from seven States.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the Associated Press that it had cleared the private land of protesters around 6:30pm EST Thursday.

Of the 141 arrests on Thursday, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said most of the protesters faced charges for conspiracy to endanger by fire or explosion, engaging in a riot and maintaining a public nuisance. Seven people were arrested for reckless endangerment after using “sleeping dragon devices” to attach themselves to items. — 

Incidents of shots fired

The Bismarck Tribune reported, shots were fired Thursday on multiple occasions. One instance came at Backwater Bridge in Morton County, where one person was injured after being shot in the hand, according to the sheriff’s department. Cecily Fong of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services said the shooting involved a person who had been run off the road by protesters north of the main protest camp south of County Road 134 on N.D. Highway 1806.

Dallas Goldtooth with the Indigenous environmental network, said the man climbed out of the vehicle and stood out in the creek with the rifle. He said several protesters attempted to de-escalate the situation.

A near half our stand off took place. The armed driver was shot in the hand during what CBS News was told was a tussle with protesters, reports CBS News. Eventually, BIA came to the scene, disarmed the man, and his was placed under arrest.

Thompson was caught with an AR-15 at the Oceti Sakowin camp with 30 live rounds.


DAPL Security Guard Brandishing Firearm at Standing Rock Encampment — Photo: Ryan Vizziones

Social media posts reported the armed instigator wearing a mask who drove into the camp with a assault rifle, ― then run off the road by protesters ― was a hired Dakota Access pipeline security guard, named Kyle Thompson.

He then got out of the vehicle and “fired several shots from his assault rifle,” the tribe said in a statement posted to Facebook.

Documents found in the man’s Chevy Silverado pickup suggested he was a Dakota Access Pipeline security guard in a company-owned truck, the Standing Rock Sioux statement said.

The truck that Thompson was driving is insured for Thompson-Gray, LLC, Knightsbridge Risk Management in Springfield, Ohio, says, the Hispanic News Network U.S.A. Blog 

A travel log also indicated that Thompson might have been accompanied by another DAPL security guard who couldn’t be located at the scene.

When he was on his way to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Police Department in Fort Yates, a person unknown to EnviroNews World News, drove the Chevy Silverado about a half mile up the road, close to where police and protectors were still colliding, after which a group of people raided the truck.

Native American ‘Protectors’ Burn DAPL Security Truck - http://www.environews.tv/world-news/dapl-security-guard-arrested-shooting-native-american-protectors-set-truck-fire/

Native American ‘Protectors’ Burn DAPL Security Truck

In the raid, protectors found a photo ID badge of the man [Kyle Thompson] that said “DAPL Security.” They also found insurance cards issued to Dakota Access LLC, out of Houston, Texas. After the protectors had “rifled through” the truck and taken the documents, they set it ablaze and watched it burn.

According to a spokesman from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Police Department, Thompson was transferred to the FBI around 8 p.m.

The FBI was investigating but turned the case over to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The Hispanic News Network U.S.A. has also reported, Thompson is a U.S. Army Veteran who served 15 months in Iraq and in 2007 he was given the name “War Eagle” by his family who are Native Americans.

In a separate incident, a woman was arrested for firing a weapon at police near Highway 1806.

Obama Steers Clear As North Dakota Pipeline Protests Veer Out Of Control


A person with a hand drum paces between law enforcement officers and a line of protesters along North Dakota Highway 6, south of St. Anthony, N.D., Oct. 10, 2016. Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP

Reader Submission:

The Washington Times – Oct 25, 2016

Having lent support to the North Dakota pipeline protesters, the Obama administration is stiff-arming requests for more federal assistance as the situation on the ground at the massive encampment grows increasingly volatile.

Six states sent law enforcement support to the Dakota Access pipeline site after several law enforcement officers were hurt in last weekend’s clashes that saw 127 arrests, the shooting of a drone that buzzed a helicopter and the use of pepper spray against protesters who charged a police line.

Even so, the Justice Department said it has no plans to provide more resources. So far the agency has provided mediators to “facilitate communication, defuse tensions, support peaceful protests and maintain public safety,” said spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle.

“The department has also offered technical assistance and community policing resources to local law enforcement in support of these goals,” said Mr. Hornbuckle in a statement, adding that the agency is “taking the situation in North Dakota seriously.”

He also reiterated the Obama administration’s request for Energy Transfer Partners to stop work voluntarily on the pipeline project, which the company has declined to do, in order for the Army Corps of Engineers to review issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

For those living and working in Morton County, North Dakota, however, waiting for the administration to research a project already approved by state and federal regulators comes at a cost.

Cody Schulz, chairman of the Morton County Commission, said that the rural community has been roiled by the 10-week-old Dakota Access protest, which has prompted road closures and school lockdowns.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II ‘blasted law enforcement in a Monday statement for actions taken against “peaceful protests at Standing Rock.” But Mr. Schulz pointed out that the demonstrations are occurring in Morton County, not on the reservation.

“I would like to remind everyone here that the situation and illegal activity is actually happening in Morton County,” said Mr. Schulz at a Monday press conference. “It’s happening in the yards, driveways, pastures and fields of Morton County residents. It’s happening on the roads and near the schools where Morton County children are being educated.”

He called on Mr. Archambault to consider the rights of local residents as well as the rights of the protesters, who number between 1,500 and 2,500, camping within a few miles of the construction site.

“It’s disrupting the lives and injuring the economic well-being of everyone that lives in the area,” said Mr. Schulz. “I believe that the chairman’s statement demonstrates that he has little regard for the rights of Morton County citizens that have been routinely trampled on by this illegal activity.”

For example, Sunday the North Dakota Highway Patrol shut down portions of Highway 1806 after protesters set up blockades with vehicles, rocks, barbed wire and tree stumps. The activists later removed the debris at the request of law enforcement, but remained at the site and kept the items in nearby ditches.

“Basically they [protesters] are controlling that area by stopping traffic as it travels through, so it’s not safe for law enforcement to allow people to travel through that area,” said North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind. “There’s people that commute back and forth through that area. It’s just not safe at this point to allow them to go through there.

Militarization of law enforcement

Requests for more Justice Department support have come from the North Dakota House and Senate members, who said in a letter last week that local sheriffs don’t have the budgets to keep up with the flood of out-of-state protesters.

Meanwhile, Mr. Archambault called Monday for the Justice Department to intervene against what he called “strong-arm tactics, abuses and unlawful arrests by law enforcement.”

The chairman blamed the rising tensions on “the militarization of local law enforcement and enlistment of multiple law enforcement agencies from neighboring states.”

“We do not condone reports of illegal actions, but believe the majority of peaceful protesters are reacting to strong-arm tactics and abuses by law enforcement,” Mr. Archambault said.

The tribe and national environmental groups launched the demonstration Aug. 10 in an effort to stop the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline, arguing that the project threatens water quality and sacred cultural and burial sites.

A federal judge rejected in September the tribe’s lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers, but the Obama administration announced afterward that it would not authorize construction on corps land bordering Lake Oahe pending the review.

The conflict shows signs of intensifying. Protesters set up tipis and tents Sunday in the path of the pipeline about two miles from the Cannon Ball River, declaring it “unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie as sovereign land under the control of the Oceti Sakowin.”

Negotiating with demonstrators has also been difficult because the tribe appears to have lost control of the protest. A group of about 200 to 300 activists is driving the lawbreaking, while the protest’s leadership is split among different camps, according to law enforcement.

“We’ve made numerous attempts and have talked to both different tribal leaders and camp leaders at times,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. “We’ve got to find someone who is a legitimate leader with the camps. Right now some parts are unorganized, and I think it’s very unorganized as far as who the leaders are.”

About 269 people have been arrested since the protests began, mainly for trespassing and rioting, but Capt. Niewind said law enforcement has actually shown remarkable restraint.

“If you think about all the incidents [that] happened since Aug. 10, we could have made 1,000 or more arrests for all the criminal acts that have occurred,” said Capt. Niewind. “And we haven’t done that because we’ve been patient and we’ve tried to work with the groups that are down there and let the court process work its way through.”

He said one officer was temporarily blinded at last weekend’s melee by pepper spray from a protester, while two other officers sustained minor injuries and another was spit on as he tried to free an activist who had chained himself to a vehicle.

Another protester shot in the direction of officers with a bow and arrow.

The six states sending law enforcement help are Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Rob Port, a North Dakota conservative radio talk show host who runs the Say Anything blog, warned that more federal involvement could come back to haunt the community.

“If the feds get involved, I hope it is to stand up for property rights and the rule of law, which have been trampled by the protesters,” Mr. Port said. “I’m afraid if they get involved, it will be to take up the cause of the tribe and protesters against state law enforcement, which would only further inflame this situation.”


Law Enforcement Shoot At Drone During Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

Less-than-lethal ammunition damaged the drone, which was then landed by its operator.

Less-than-lethal ammunition damaged the drone, which was then landed by its operator.

Drone shot, road reopens, more arrests at Dakota Access Pipeline protests

The Associated Press: Oct 24, 2016

Law enforcement officials fired at an unmanned aircraft and a group of Dakota Access pipeline opponents twice blocked a North Dakota state highway Sunday, capping a weekend of protests.

A helicopter helping monitor a protest against the four-state pipeline Sunday morning was approached by a drone in a “threatening manner,” the Morton County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. An officer in the helicopter told law enforcement on the ground that the pilot and passengers were “in fear of their lives” and that the unmanned aircraft was going after them. Less-than-lethal ammunition damaged the drone, which was then landed by its operator.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said drones flying near protests and near where hundreds have been camping out in protest of the $3.8 billion pipeline are not being operated according to federal regulations and their investigations will be sent to the states attorney’s office for possible charges. Two people operating drones during the protests have already been charged.


Also Sunday, protesters put up two roadblocks on State Highway 1806. The first, which went up about 2 p.m., was made of barbed wire, cars and later hay bales, tree stumps and logs. Law enforcement authorities spoke with protesters, and the blockade came down before 5 p.m. A second roadblock, made with vehicles, campers and a state Department of Transportation message board was still up as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Highway 1806 was shut down in both directions during protest of Dakota Access Pipeline construction.

Highway 1806 was shut down in both directions during protest of Dakota Access Pipeline construction.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners is building the $3.8 billion pipeline, which crosses through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Opponents worry about potential effects on drinking water on the Standing Rock Sioux’s reservation and farther downstream on the Missouri River, as well as destruction of cultural artifacts.


Sunday’s demonstrations come after 126 people were arrested Saturday during a large protest at a pipeline construction site. More than 260 people have now been arrested since demonstrations began in August.

The sheriff’s office also said Sunday that 100 protesters have put up temporary structures, like tents, on private property along the pipeline construction route.

A protest organizer did not immediately respond to request for comment.


Morton County Sheriff Announces New Law Enforcement Tactics For DAPL Demonstrations


Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier

Law enforcement officials from across the country ready to support Morton County Sheriff’s Department with DAPL protests

By Sara Berlinger | 

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier has announced new law enforcement tactics to handle Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrations that aren’t slowing down.

Thursday afternoon, Kirchmeier was joined by leaders in local enforcement as well as a Wyoming Sheriff. All of the officers potentially will play a part in the new approach.

The Western States Sheriffs’ Association President Danny Glick says he’s ready to round up officers from all across the country, if necessary, to assist Morton County.

Keeping the peace in Morton County has become a daily struggle for law enforcement – being outnumbered is a constant challenge. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier announced he’s getting support from all over the country to help with Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

“When a law enforcement leader calls for assistance, we are all going to come. Same sentiment holds true with sheriffs across this nation,” says Paul Laney, Cass County Sheriff.

Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney is serving as Kirchmeier’s Operations Chief for the protests. Now, out of state officers may be called on as reinforcements.


“There’s a lot of expertise out there across this nation with the sheriffs, and if they can in somehow bring their expertise and their resources here to assist the sheriff, that’s what we need to do,” says Danny Glick, Laramie County Sheriff, Western States Sheriffs’ Association President.

Kirchmeier says the Sacred Stone Camp has expanded to more than 2,000 people. He says it takes a lot of manpower to control demonstrations that large.

“The protest has grown outside I think of what the intentions of the Standing Rock people wanted to occur. This was all about the water, and the pipeline, and the easement going under the core, not a pipeline being put out in the middle of the prairie,” says Kirchmeier.

Protests Wednesday and Thursday occurred outside the 20-mile voluntary ‘no construction zone’ called for by federal authorities. Kirchmeier says maintaining public safety in Morton County is his number one priority, and now with the support from officers from other states, he hopes to accomplish that.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department says protests halted work at several Dakota Access construction sites Thursday, but it didn’t stop altogether.

Source: KFYR-TV