During the heights of the #NoDAPL protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline here in North Dakota our law enforcement officials were faced with an extremely dangerous situation. They were confronted with thousands of political extremists who embraced, as a tactic, violence and unlawful activity to advance their agenda.
The situation was more than North Dakota law enforcement could handle, so the state put out pleas for help through a system called the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). This is a compact among the 50 states which allows one state facing some emergent situation, usually something like a natural disaster, to request and receive help from other states.
Only left wing interests played politics with those requests. While the Obama administration worked to deny North Dakota cops assistance from the federal level, left wing interests worked to deny our state assistance from the state level.
“Early on we had a number of states support our request for peace officer support,” Major General Al Dohrmann of the North Dakota National Guard told me in December. “Unfortunately, all jurisdictions that supported us were subject to protest in their own cities and capitols for providing support to North Dakota, along with intense pressure from various groups to not support North Dakots’s efforts to maintain the peace and rule of law.”
It turns out, according to the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, a major obstacle to North Dakota receiving assistance from that state was Democratic Governor Mark Dayton. James Franklin, executive director of the association, told Dayton in a letter that the state’s sheriff’s departments are “extremely disappointed” in his decision to keep North Dakota’s request for assistance from them.
An excerpt. The full letter is below:
Franklin goes on to point out that the EMAC process is supposed to be non-political. But Dayton made it political. That has serious consequences for the ability of states to help one another in emergent situations going forward.
Franklin goes so far as to suggest that the EMAC process itself may need to be reformed to remove politicians like Dayton from it.
Dayton’s actions are also an insult to law enforcement. As if their efforts to maintain law and order during the pipeline protests were somehow taking a side in the policy debate over the pipeline itself. The cops are not and were never in charge of whether or not the pipeline was to be built. Their job was not to promote the pipeline. Their job was to protect people and property from unlawful activity.
Dayton’s actions suggest otherwise, and that is outrageous.
Here’s the full letter: