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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Governor Of North Dakota Calls In National Guard To Assistance With Pipeline Protest

North Dakota calls in National Guard 

By Red Power Media, Staff, Sept 08, 2016

The governor of North Dakota has called in the National Guard to assist law enforcement with the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple activated the North Dakota National Guard in a limited role Thursday to provide support for civilian authorities dealing with the protests as a key court ruling loomed Friday.

The Guard’s adjutant general stressed that soldiers will not patrol the main protest encampment north of Cannon Ball.

“The Guard is not heading south,” Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann said during a news conference. “The Guard’s role here is to promote, like everyone else, public safety and to help out with law enforcement so we can free up officers with patrols cars to go down there and have a visible presence.”

The Bismarck Tribune reports, Dalrymple said the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution” in order to free up law enforcement to patrol the area.

Several armed guardsmen will be posted at a checkpoint along Highway 1806, which has been reopened. They will provide information to drivers passing through.

About 100 guardsmen from the 191st Military Police Company will also be on standby alert, said Dohrmann. This unit, which is based in Bismarck, Mayville and Fargo, has some law enforcement experience.

Meanwhile, as the yearly powwow takes place in Bismarck and a decision from a federal court judge on the tribe’s request for an injunction reverberates, additional law enforcement officers will patrol the Bismarck-Mandan area and parts of Morton County.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said he wanted to be able to respond more quickly to situations that arise at the protest camps and for residents nearby. Deputies will not be stationed at the camps.

Kirchmeier said, with the resources he had available Saturday, when a clash between protesters and private pipeline security broke out, he did not have the manpower needed to go in and make arrests.

“We want people to have a safe weekend,” Kirchmeier said.

Dohrmann said he is in discussions with tribal leaders to find a peaceful resolution to the protests. He said he believes there is a group of “agitators” at the site, some of whom have been asked to leave.

Highway 1806 had been closed since Aug. 17 by Highway Patrol and the Department of Transportation due to safety concerns. Tribal members and civil rights groups have called for its reopening, citing economic impacts on the tribe and hindrance to First Amendment rights.

Native American protestors and their supporters are confronted by security during a demonstration against work being done for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. Hundreds of Native American protestors and their supporters, who fear the Dakota Access Pipeline will polluted their water, forced construction workers and security forces to retreat and work to stop. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Native American protestors and their supporters are confronted by security during a demonstration against work being done for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been leading a protest for weeks near a site along the route where the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline passes its reservation. The protest has included tense confrontations at times, and violence broke out Saturday between private security guards and protesters at a construction site being bulldozed for the pipeline, which—according tribal officials—was damaging burial and cultural sites.

During the Saturday protest, at least six people, including a child, are said to have received bites from guard dogs belonging to a private security company at the site, according to tribe spokesperson Steve Sitting Bear. He said at least 30 demonstrators were hit with pepper-spray.

Lawyers for Energy Transfer Partners filed court documents Tuesday morning denying that workers have destroyed any cultural sites and asking the judge to reject the tribes’ request for a temporary work stoppage.

The Associated Press reportsNorth Dakota’s chief archaeologist plans to inspect an area where Standing Rock Sioux officials say they’ve identified cultural artifacts.

Paul Picha (PEE’-kuh) told The Associated Press that the trip likely won’t happen until next week. If any artifacts are found, pipeline work would cease.

Picha says state officials earlier surveyed the route, but not the disputed site, which is on private land west of State Highway 1806.

Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault II also released the following statement Thursday calling for peace in anticipation of the Sept. 9 court ruling:

Thousands of people, from members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, tribes across the nation and First Nations in Canada, to non-Native supporters in the United States and around the world, have stood in solidarity against the harm and destruction caused by the Dakota Access Pipeline.

We have stood side by side in peaceful prayer.

The pipeline threatens our sacred lands and the health of 17 million people who rely upon the Missouri River for water. There is a lot at stake with the court decision tomorrow. We call upon all water protectors to greet any decision with peace and order. Even if the outcome of the court’s ruling is not in our favor, we will continue to explore every lawful option and fight against the construction of the pipeline.

Any act of violence hurts our cause and is not welcome here. We invite all supporters to join us in prayer that, ultimately, the right decision—the moral decision—is made to protect our people, our sacred places, our land and our resources.

The ruling will decide whether construction can continue on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Gov. Nixon Ends State of Emergency for Ferguson Protests

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Dec 17, 2014, | Associated Press

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday ended the state of emergency that he declared for the St. Louis area ahead of unrest over the Ferguson grand jury decision, praising the work of police and the National Guard in preventing any protest-related deaths.

He issued his executive order on Nov. 17. Protests, including some that turned violent, broke out on Nov. 24 after St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that the grand jury wouldn’t indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, for the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year-old. Wilson has since resigned from the department in the St. Louis suburb.

“I want to thank state and local law enforcement, the leaders of the unified command, and the members of the Missouri National Guard for working tirelessly to protect the public,” Nixon said in a statement. “As the hard work of healing and rebuilding continues, the fact that not a single life was lost as a result of the unrest is a credit to the hard work and dedication of these brave men and women.”

On the night of the grand jury announcement, 700 members of the Guard were deployed in the St. Louis region. Nixon sent in 1,500 more troops after some of the unrest became violent that first night and led to looting and fires that destroyed 12 Ferguson-area businesses.

After deployment of the additional troops, scattered violence erupted the night of Nov. 25.

Protests continued in the following days but the violence ceased as local and state police stayed in charge of crowd control and the Guard protected buildings.

The actions of police have been widely criticized, with protesters and others saying officers were too quick to arrest peaceful demonstrators and displayed tactics that were too militarized.

Alexis Templeton, a 20-year-old college student and co-founder of Millennial Activists United, said Nixon sent the large number of Guard members and police officers to “instill fear.”

“I feel he was trying to run the narrative that protesters were dangerous,” she said Wednesday.

Templeton was among about 75 people who marched from St. Louis police headquarters to St. Louis City Hall ? a frequent target of activists ? to protest how police handled demonstrations related to the Brown shooting. They also claimed police have been intentionally targeting demonstration leaders for arrest.

Their protesting led to City Hall being quickly shut down. The closing affected office workers and citizens attempting to do city business. The city also canceled several public meetings scheduled for Wednesday.

“They have been changing up the tactics,” said Derek Laney, a community organizer charged with assault on a law enforcement officer who accused him of accidentally making contact while falling to the ground at an earlier City Hall “die-in” demonstration. “They want to intimidate us, they want to smear our names. They’re attempting to paint a picture to promote a narrative of violence.”

Several members of the city’s Board of Aldermen joined protesters outside the building in support of their efforts to gain entry. No arrests were reported and the protest was peaceful.

“This is a public building,” Alderwoman Megan Green said. “We support your right to be here.”

The Justice Department is conducting a civil rights investigation related to the Brown shooting. It’s not clear when those findings will be released.