As multiple media outlets are reporting, the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters once again clashed with North Dakota law enforcement, this time on the banks of the Cantapeta Creek.
They were trying to access shore line land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and, beyond that, private land making the the Cannon Ball Ranch.
This is the latest release from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department:
Mandan, N.D. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested the Morton County Sheriff’s Department to assist them in removing any trespassers who enter Corps land to the north of the main camp area. Law enforcement witnessed protesters building an illegal, man-made, wooden bridge across the Cantapeta Creek. This is located east of 1806 and the Backwater Bridge at the confluence of the Cannonball River. Protesters involved in building the bridge violated numerous federal and state laws including the Clean Water Act and the Safe River and Harbors Act.
Law enforcement responded to the shoreline on the north side of the creek. Officers ordered protesters to remove themselves from the bridge and notified them that if they crossed the bridge they would be arrested for trespassing. This order was repeated several times.
Law enforcement with boats were able to pull the make-shift bridge apart. Numerous protesters continued to ignore officer’s commands and crossed the river by swimming, using boats, canoes and kayaks. The stand-off with officers concluded shortly before 2:00 p.m. when protesters retreated and returned to the main camp area.
You can see a copy of the Corp’s request for assistance here.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier was happy that the Corps gave local law enforcement permission to, you know, enforce the law:
“Receiving permission and precise guidance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was uplifting today. This simple message gave a clear cut order to execute a plan to remove unlawful actors and prevent further unlawful actions,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. “Eighty five days into the protests, we look forward to other federal government agencies following the Corps’ spirit of providing support and assistance to law enforcement.”
There was apparently one guy arrested – someone who bought the boats and canoes for the protesters – and he was charged with “conspiracy to commit obstruction of a government function.”
Here are some more details on the tacts the cops used today, and a troubling note about federal authorities investigating protest camp “security” personnel hog tying someone:
Authorities used less-than-lethal ammunition to control the situation. In one incident a male was at a boat and was throwing bottles at officers on the police line. A second incident occurred when a man wearing a gas mask, refused to show his hands, refused to disperse and charged the police line. Officers also deployed pepper spray and tear gas to disperse the group of protesters who came across the water and camp at officers. No lethal shots were fired from law enforcement.
The FBI and BIA are following up on a report of an individual being hog-tied and detained by “camp security” and being brought to the BIA checkpoint. There were also reports of gunfire in the camp, BIA responded and is investigating that report as well.
Here’s some video of the protest today and, below that, some photos: