The Morton County Sheriff’s Office is fed up and has initiated negative propaganda against the water protectors and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
October 12, 2016
Mandan, N. Dakota – On Tuesday, the Morton County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) with the assistance of Cass County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) began a negative and bias campaign (propaganda) against the water protectors and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) by labeling most of those arrested on Monday as rioters. 28 people were taken into custody including Shailene Woodley, 24, actress of the movie “Divergent” and Alderwoman Rebecca Kemble from Madison, Wisconsin who was in the state to present the SRST with a parchment copy of the City of Madison Common Council resolution claiming solidarity with the water protectors who are protesting the DAPL constuction pipeline.
Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney during a press conference labeled the peaceful protest in private property as a riot, but stream live videos recorded and posted on Facebook by Woodley and others only showed protesters and Native Americans in a prayer ceremony using drums, singing, chanting and burning sage. No violence and attacks against law enforcement officers occurred or any damage to property was reported.
The MCSO posted a news item from KFYR-TV5 showing some protesters questioning reporters for ID’s and some using inappropriate language, but Sheriff Laney claims that those confronting media approved by the MCSO were violent. Water protectors says, media favorable to the MCSO and DAPL are only allowed to cover demonstrations, protests and prayer ceremonies and not other media outlets like the Unicorn Riot reporters, which three have been arrested and charged with trespassing, according to Unicorn Riot reports.
The MCSO in its Facebook (FB) account has began a negative campaign against the water protectors/protesters and the SRST to help sway public opinion, but has failed. For one thing, charging 26 protesters with misdemeanor criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct, engaging in a riot and inciting a riot when no violence or damage of property occurred at the DAPL site near St. Anthony shows improper use by both the MCSO and CCSO of the N. Dakota criminal code regarding riot criminal offenses.
The water protectors involved on Monday’s demonstrations have disputed the riot charge allegations by the MCSO and Sheriff Laney. Water protectors say, that it was a peaceful demonstration and prayer ceremony at the DAPL sites and at no moment did they engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct creates grave danger of damage or injury to property or persons or substantially obstructs law enforcement or other government function” as stipulated in the N. Dakota criminal code.
So far, the MCSO has generated more than $61,500 in fines resulting from arrests and bonds posted by water protectors and journalists since August with more than 123 arrests.
Most of those supporting DAPL in Morton County including the MCSO and the CCSO are White.
On Wednesday, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) from Madison, Wisconsin confirmed that their deputies and three supervisors who were assisting the MCSO in protests and public safety have been called back to the state and cited that costs was the issue. Other law enforcement agencies from Wisconsin have also been called back as well, which involved some of the 40 law enforcement officers that the MCSO had requested for assistance around the region and costs would be paid by the sponsoring sheriff’s office in Morton County.
The DCSO says, that MCSO was not compensating the projected costs and the decision was made to call back their deputies and supervisors. Sheriff Laney on Monday confirmed that DCSO deputies were present when the 28 protesters were taken into custody near St. Anthony, but the DCSO denied that they participated at the protest site.
Photos posted on FB from protesters showed that multiple Wisconsin State Patrol officers were assisting MCSO at the DAPL site near St. Anthony as well.
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