On the same night a Rolette County deputy lost his life a half dozen law enforcement officers and National Guard soldiers were injured at the site of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
There were 21 arrests made at the protests which started at 6:45pm last night.
“Last night our officers faced the same type of hostility and aggression that we have been subjected to for the past six months, “Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler said in a statement. “Rioters once again violated the December agreement to stay off the Backwater Bridge as they set fires and assaulted officers using a variety of materials including ice chunks, rocks, and other home-made projectiles.”
From the release, which you can read in full below:
Protesters began assembling on the Backwater Bridge around 6:45pm on Wednesday, January 18. By 8:30pm, the crowd of protesters had grown to approximately 150. During the following four hours, protesters started three tire fires on the bridge and two fires on each side of the bridge as well as erecting two tipis further blocking the bridge. Protestors flanked the law enforcement line several times, attempting to get behind them. After protesters failed to comply to multiple orders from law enforcement to return to the south side of the bridge and go back to camp, law enforcement deployed less-than-lethal munitions.
Over the course of the evening, law enforcement continued to attempt negotiations and issue multiple warnings to the protesters, however, the orders were not heeded and the crowd continued to grow.
As the protester crowds grew in size and became more aggressive by throwing projectiles at officers and engaging in flanking maneuvers, the field commanders authorized use of less-than-lethal munitions of direct impact sponge rounds, drag stabilizer bean bag rounds, hand deployed pepper spray canisters and smoke riot control CS canisters.
There were six injuries to law enforcement officers and ND National Guard soldiers. They ranged from ankle, shoulder, wrist and hand injuries. A report was taken of a protester who was injured in the face. He was transported by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, ND.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the State of North Dakota, and local officials seem to have found some common ground on the protest issue in recent weeks. There is a consensus that the protest camps need to be cleaned up and closed ahead of the sprint melt off which is just weeks away.
Failure to do so would result in a disaster in more ways than one. Not only could people be hurt or killed in flooding, but the accumulated garbage, human waste, and other detritus could be washed into the Missouri River. The very water these self-styled “water protectors” say they’re protecting.
There has been intense media scrutiny on every facet of the #NoDAPL protests except this one, which has belligerent political extremists wreaking havoc and injuring law enforcement officers despite being asked to leave not just by state officials but tribal officials as well.
I guess because these most recent events don’t fit the preferred narrative.