North Dakota Senator Calls On Trump For Fed Help With Pipeline Protesters

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
Font Size:

North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp joined local and state law enforcement officials Wednesday and called on President Donald Trump for federal support for dealing with protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In a letter to Trump, Heitkamp wrote that since he “signaled” his support for the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, she is asking for federal help to support the law enforcement agencies who have “engaged in addressing ongoing protest activities.”

According to Heitkamp, “After five months of protests and over 600 arrests related to those protests, state and local law enforcement agencies are in need financial assistance and additional manpower in order to continue to ensure public safety.”

Pipeline protesters brought their activities to Washington, D.C. this week, when one activist climbed a crane and hung a banner reading “RESIST” in response to Trump’s executive order to push forward the completion of the pipeline.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department, Republican North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, North Dakota US Attorney Chris Meyers and congressional delegations have all requested federal support from Trump administration, The Daily Caller learned from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

TheDC reached out to the White House press office for a response, as well as officials at the Department of Homeland Security, and did not receive a response.

Heitkamp says that the “necessity to rely upon law enforcement from across the state had led to personnel shortages statewide, cancelled leave, officers stretched thin, and communities throughout North Dakota wondering when their law enforcement will be returned to full strength.”

“I recognize the First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, however, previous events have concerned local residents and workers about their personal safety and damage to private property,” she wrote.

The Sioux Tribal council officially called on all protesters encamped in its North Dakota reservation to clear out earlier in the week after it decided to dismantle the protest camps on the reservation near the pipeline.

Follow Kerry on Twitter