Photos: Another 83 #NoDAPL Protesters Arrested, and Two Officers Injured, After Five Hour Riot

Photo via Morton County

A group of protesters face off with law enforcement officers in what officials called a riot. This was the latest incident in the on-going protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“Law enforcement arrested 83 individuals for riot activities Saturday morning at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site,” a press release from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department states.

You can read the whole document. Apparently the riot lasted for five hours and resulted in the injury of three law enforcement officers.

Here’s a description of what happened from the release:

At around 7:30 a.m. approximately 300+ protesters trespassed three miles onto private property, following the pipeline right of way, west of Highway 1806. Law enforcement formed a line between protesters and where DAPL construction equipment was parked. During that time, a group of protesters attempted to breach the police line and did not follow officer’s instructions. As a result officers utilized pepper spray to protect themselves, other officers and to control the protesters. One protester charged at an officer on the line, tried to grab the officers’ canister of pepper spray, and was responsible for the officer getting sprayed in the face – blinding him for five minutes. Other officers were able to secure that protester and arrest him.

The confrontation occurred and over the course of five hours. In which 83 protesters were arrested for various crimes including: assault on a peace officer, reckless endangerment, engaging in a riot, criminal trespass, resisting arrest, and fleeing an officer on foot. In addition, two officers received minor injuries during the event.

By my unofficial count we now have to be over 200 arrested for crimes related to protest activities.

It’s not clear to me from the release if the two officers mentioned as injured at the end there includes the officer who apparently got sprayed in the face with pepper spray or in addition to him.

Either way, it’s not good. And it’s high time for the #NoDAPL organizers, up to and including tribal Chairman David Archambault, to stop claiming that this is a peaceful protest and start telling us what they’re going to do to remove this extremist element which refuses to obey the law and is putting people in danger.

“Today’s situation clearly illustrates what we have been saying for weeks, that this protest is not peaceful or lawful. It was obvious to our officers who responded that the protesters engaged in escalated unlawful tactics and behavior during this event. This protest was intentionally coordinated and planned by agitators with the specific intent to engage in illegal activities,” Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says in the release. “I have repeatedly stressed that it is our job to provide safety and security for all involved in the situation at hand. This is not about the pipeline. This is not about the protestors. This is about the rule of law.”

Here are some photos Morton County provided of the incident. Click for a larger view.

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Here’s the full press release:

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