Because they’re losing the legal and policy debate over the Dakota Access Pipeline, the network of tribal leaders and environmental activists who make up the #NoDAPL movement have taken to dragging the State of North Dakota’s leaders and law enforcement through the mud.
(The PR firm handling the media for Standing Rock has actually been bragging about their tactics online.)
The latest front they’ve opened in that battle is the suggestion that Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault was mistreated because he was searched for weapons or contraband after he was arrested. This talking point started on the far-left website Democracy Now, and now it’s being pushed into the North Dakota media.
According to Turtle Mountain tribal chairman Richard McCloud, Archambault was “strip searched” after being arrested back in August.
“I have never seen or heard of a tribal leader being treated in that way,” McCloud said.
“If President (Vladimir) Putin from Russia was to jump the fence at the White House, do you think they would strip-search him?” he continued. “I doubt it.”
I like to think that the men and women of law enforcement would treat everyone the same when arrested, from the President to members of Congress to tribal leaders to your average member of the public. That’s supposed to be something we aspire to here in America, right? Equal treatment under the law? And the cops say Archambault was treated the same as everyone else:
According to the written intake procedures for the Morton County correctional center, officers may perform a visual search of an inmate as part of the “attempt to keep the Correctional Center free of contraband, weapons and illegal substances.” The visual search includes the inmate removing his or her clothing.
Donnell Preskey, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Association of Counties, said visual assessments are a standard intake procedure for any inmate placed in the jail’s general population.
“There’s nothing that has gone on that is outside of what is in our policy and how they treat every person that’s brought into the jail,” she said.
It’s interesting that this is just now becoming a talking point. I mean, Archambault was arrested back in August. Now all of a sudden he and others, like actress Shailene Woodley, are making an issue.
Anyway, I think it’s worth noting at this junction just what it was Archambault did to get himself arrested. Because even as the man has repeatedly told the police that he supports peaceful, non-violent protest the video of his arrest shows him behaving in a way that’s anything but peaceful.
He’s the guy in the orange shirt in this video. You can first seem him scuffling with a police officer, and then at the end of the video you can see him cuffed and being escorted by an officer in the background. You can also see the pipeline personnel the cops were trying to protect in the background leaving the area.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) August 13, 2016
“I stress peace and nonviolence all the time,” Archambault told the Forum News Service recently. Clearly, based on his behavior above, that’s not true.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable for law enforcement to search people arrested after that sort of an incident.