This last week was a chaotic one in terms of coverage of the protests against the Dakota Access Pipepline, because the protesters decided to hold themselves a riot, refusing to end a blockade of a state highway and inviting conflict with law enforcement.
On that periphery of that story was a video which went viral showing a man armed with a rifle – allegedly a pipeline security worker – accosted by protesters. The narrative which quickly sprung up around the video, which you can see below, is that he was there to attack the protesters. Or perhaps do something to paint the protesters in a bad light.
The video, as you see, is more than a little scary:
I seem to remember more video than this streamed live as the event happened showing another truck hitting this white truck – basically t-boning it – and driving it into the ditch. But I can’t seem to find it now.
If anyone out there has it please let me know. UPDATE: While this video doesn’t show the track being crashed into, it does give us an angle showing damage to the side of the pickup consistent with it being struck by another vehicle and driven from the road. Here’s a screenshot:
Anyway, the man in the video turns out to be a gentleman named Kyle Thompson, and he told a much different story of the incident from what we’ve heard so far. According to him he was asked to take some picture of pipeline construction equipment which had been set on fire. He says he then tried to leave the area, but was stopped when protesters disabled his truck. He was then chased into a nearby pond by protesters who he says were armed with knives.
He also says a flare gun was aimed at him, and that his truck was set on fire after he vacated it:
I did speak briefly with his mother yesterday evening who said she was upset by the media’s coverage in the incident, particularly given that her son wasn’t given an opportunity to comment.
“What set me off was the false reporting by the Bismarck tribune,” Marty Thompson told me. “They have an article in Saturday’s paper about the incident. They have quotes from all kinds of people but never once tried to contact him about his side of this story!”
You can read that article here. Thompson is not quoted or even named.
“[J]ust so you know, not one round was fired,” she continued. “The BCI will confirm that when the report comes out. However that happens.”
In the Tribune report Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kichmeier says Thompson wielded his weapon in “self defense,” the he says he can’t confirm whether or not shots were fired from it.