Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to meet with National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) Executive Director Jonathan Thompson about the law enforcement issues facing communities in North Dakota as a result of protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the DOJ wants the ND U.S. Attorney to stay away from the situation.
Protesters trying to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline are threatening and intimidating nearby residents, commuters, and press as well as threatening the lives of law enforcement officers.
According to Dickinson Press, of the 123 arrested since August 11, 13 percent were from North Dakota and the other 106 were from out of state. Those with prior records arrests included convictions of robbery, burglary, theft, domestic violence and child abuse, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and drug possession.
Kirchmeier said researching their criminal histories “comes down to public safety and officers’ safety as we go through this.” He added that law enforcement wants to separate the “agitators” from those who are legally and peacefully demonstrating against the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile oil pipeline intended to supply 470,000 barrels of oil every day from North Dakota to Illinois.
“I think that the people who want to legally and peacefully protest should be especially concerned about their safety inside these camps,” he said.
According to an email obtained by the Daily Caller, Thompson told NSA personnel, that DOJ refused to deploy federal resources in support of local Morton County, North Dakota Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier in an effort to fend off what the NSA and local officials called, “unlawful protests, threats of community intimidation and interfering with lawful commerce.”
One source close to the situation told TheDC that “the DOJ told the US attorney to stand down on help. North Dakota’s attorney general is not engaged either. Sheriffs are in the middle of the storm with limited help.”
Cody Hall, a spokesman for the Red Warrior Camp within the main Oceti Sakowin overflow camp that’s currently home to hundreds of pipeline opponents in southern Morton County, told Dickinson that tribal members know about some people’s criminal histories, “and it does kind of raise a concern.”
The Justice Department would only offer a meeting to the NSA’s Thompson with the department’s Director of Community Oriented Policing Services Ron Davis. However, Davis, according to Thompson, would not be able to “secure more human resources from the federal law enforcement community” in North Dakota.