“Law enforcement is currently involved in an ongoing riot on the Backwater Bridge, north of a protest camp in Morton County,” reads a press release from Morton County which just dropped in my inbox (read the whole thing below). “Protesters in mass amounts, estimated to be around 400, are on the bridge and attempting to breach the bridge to go north on highway 1806. Law enforcement officers have formed a line north of the bridge to prevent protesters movement. As of 8:30 p.m. protesters were attempting to start multiple fires. Mandan Rural and Bismarck Fire Departments are on the scene.”
Here’s a photo provided by Morton County showing the fire:
UPDATE: More photos, courtesy of Morton County:
“The incident began around 6 p.m. Sunday evening, when protesters removed a truck that had been on the bridge since October 27th, when protesters set two trucks on fire,” the release continues.
The trucks, which you can see in this picture, have been serving as a roadblock after the bridge was closed over safety concerns after fires set by protesters damaged it.
“North Dakota Department of Transportation has closed the Backwater Bridge due to damage caused after protesters set numerous fires on the bridge October 27th. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has requested Morton County to prevent protesters from trespassing on USACE land north of the camp,” the release states.
A #NoDAPL sympathizer also live streamed video claiming that law enforcement was using “water cannons” against the protesters. But then, we often see wild and inaccurate claims made against law enforcement by this movement. If water cannons are being used against the protesters it would be the first time that tactic has been deployed.
It seems more likely that the cops are just trying to put out the fires set by the protesters, doesn’t it? Anyway, it’s remarkable how often the protesters attack law enforcement and then play the victim when law enforcement responds as you would expect them to.
UPDATE: Here’s a photo of the water cannon being used. It looks to me like the cops are trying to spray a fire and the protesters are getting in the way. The aim of the water certainly seems to coincide with the fire we see in the photos above:
UPDATE: Here are some videos courtesy of North Dakota Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Tom Iverson.
This video shows a very large rock being thrown at officers. You can hear them shout “watch out” after which Iverson walks the camera over so you can see where the rock landed:
In this video you can hear the protesters calling the cops a bunch of “racist white people” who are all “European.”
And in this video you can hear the protesters just screaming random obscenities at the cops:
This latest incident in what seems to be an escalating series of riots from the #NoDAPL movement comes after former Democratic candidate for U.S. House Chase Iron Eyes urged the movement to continue their lawless activities in a Facebook post.
Let’s hope the actions of these extremists do not result in any serious injuries or death.
Here’s the full press release: