According to a report from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, a large group of the protesters who have been working to obstruct the Dakota Access Pipeline “ambushed and assaulted” private security workers guarding one of the construction sites.
“This was more like a riot than a protest. Individuals crossed onto private property and accosted private security officers with wooden posts and flag poles,” Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeir said in a press release. “The aggression and violence displayed here today is unlawful and should not be repeated. While no arrests were made at the scene, we are actively investigating the incident and individuals who organized and participated in this unlawful event.”
You can read the full release below, but here’s an excerpt of accounts of the incident from some of the private security workers:
According to the release, Security Officer #1 was taken to the hospital.
There is a report from KXMB of security officers using “tear gas” and dogs to attack the protesters, but that report has been updated since it broke and it seems more likely that the “tear gas” was mace. And, frankly, given what the press release from Morton County is describing, I wouldn’t blame the security contractors for using mace.
UPDATE: Here’s some of the video I found of the altercation on Facebook. The protesters are claiming that they were set upon by the security guards with mace or “tear gas” and dogs. But I watch the videos and I see security guards being confronted with a mob of trespassers trying to obstruct lawful industry:
Did the protesters expect to be met with tea and crumpets after apparently breaking down a fence and charging at working pipeliners?
Here’s the full release from Morton County: