Home / Badge Abuse / After Trump’s Executive Order, Sheriff Issues Ominous Warning to DAPL Water Protectors

After Trump’s Executive Order, Sheriff Issues Ominous Warning to DAPL Water Protectors

Cannon Ball, ND — After President Donald Trump issued Executive Orders greenlighting both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, protests erupted from coast to coast — including in the nation’s capital — as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Morton County Sheriff’s Department, and clean energy advocates were left scrambling to make sense of the abrupt power play.

Rumors have circulated for months law enforcement would opportune the first chance to forcefully evict water protectors from the camps — whether under the guise of safety, since several sit amid a spring flood plain, or under the premise of illegality despite the location being part of lands granted to the tribe by treaties over a century ago by the U.S. government. Now, thanks to Trump, the future of pipeline opposition camps looks grim.

According to a statement,

“The Morton County Sheriff’s Department is monitoring the area of the camps in the event that protestors choose to gather in opposition to the executive action. While the department does not release details of its operational plans and strategies or confirm the number of law enforcement it has available to respond at any given time, the department does have plans to respond and deal with any potential protest actions that may become unlawful. This is prudent when it comes to what the department does and how it prepares for situations.”

In the same statement, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier issued a stern admonishment to Standing Rock water protectors (a term preferred over ‘protesters’ by pipeline opposition for their stance of protecting the Missouri River from contamination):

“I would like to remind any protesters to please remain peaceful and lawful in your actions. Protesters have a right to take a position on the pipeline, but they do not have the right to break the law. To introduce rule of law within the camp, we will be asking the Trump administration for much-needed law enforcement support and public safety resources, requests that were ignored by the last administration. North Dakota residents expect us to hold these unlawful actors accountable; even the Standing Rock Sioux tribe – who has hosted the protest camps – have asked the protestors to leave out of fear that their presence could pollute the waters they claim to protect. This is not about the pipeline or the protests, it is about the rule of law.”

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And Kirchmeier wasn’t the only Morton County official to mischaracterize the largely peaceful and unarmed Dakota Access Pipeline opposition in that statement.

“We are hopeful that this announcement brings us closer to finality in what has been an incredibly challenging time for our citizens and law enforcement professionals. Having dealt with riots, violence, trespassing and property crimes, the people of Morton County are looking forward to getting back their normal lives,” said Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz. “This decision is encouraging because it shows that the federal government is finally interested in the rule of law. It is said that America has a ‘government of laws, not men.’ There is a legal and regulatory process in place for a reason – so everyone knows what the rules are, and those rules are applied objectively.”

Morton County

“A lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs,” Trump said on Tuesday, according to ABC News, regarding the economic impact of the pipeline projects — citing a number not backed by several reports on the matter. “Great construction jobs.”

What, exactly, happens next appears — at least temporarily — to be anyone’s guess. But for water protectors encamped near the banks of the Missouri River’s Lake Oahe reservoir — who have vowed to do whatever it takes to halt construction of DAPL — Trump’s memorandum allowing Energy Transfer Partners to continue the final stages of the project represents the final threat to Indigenous sovereignty and integrity of the water supply.

“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said today that President Donald Trump’s executive action towards an approval of an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline risks contaminating tribal and American water supplies while disregarding treaty rights,” an official statement explains. “The Trump administration’s politically motivated decision violates the law and the Tribe will take legal action to fight it.”

Morton County

Morton County

From Los Angeles and Seattle, to New York City and Washington, D.C., spontaneous demonstrations erupted after the new president’s unexpectedly decisive approvals for both pipelines.

Adhering to longstanding dictates from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s calls for pipeline opposition to remain unarmed, prayerful, and peaceful, Native and non-Native water protectors from coast to coast broke out in song and chanted support in the streets of major cities — with large crowds amassing outside the White House in D.C. and Trump Tower in New York City.

“It’s amazing the power of social media,” one water protector observed from the Los Angeles rally, concerning the organic planning of events after Trump’s staggering announcement.

Indeed, absent sufficient and balanced coverage from the mainstream media for months, Standing Rock water protectors have relied on platforms like Facebook and Twitter to present an accurate portrait of the quagmire that is the Dakota Access Pipeline project and its opposition.

Thousands of supporting water protectors from hundreds of Indigenous bands around the world, as well as non-Native activists, have spent time in a smattering of camps attempting to halt pipeline construction through physical occupation at the site. Several hundred are still enduring a rough and bitter North Dakota winter at the site — and have pledged to stay in place no matter the consequences of Trump’s fraught executive actions.

Despite the haunting mirror to historical clashes between Native Americans and the nascent United States government — including the gruesome Battle of Wounded Knee, which occurred on the same lands — coverage by the corporate press has remained tepid, at best, often slanting neutrally or in favor of law enforcement where glaringly inappropriate.

Now that President Trump has avowed Big Oil’s right-of-way on both hotly contentious projects, it would appear critically necessary attention will finally be devoted to Indigenous and people’s rights over industry profits. In fact, claims the pipelines would create much needed jobs hold little basis in reality.

Keystone XL would permanently employ just 35 workers, and Dakota Access, a mere 40 in operational and maintenance positions — not to mention the latter is already more than 85 percent complete.

“The Keystone XL project,” Slate reported, “which will take 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to the Gulf Coast, was the subject of a largely symbolic battle waged by climate activists opposed to the continued development of fossil fuel infrastructure. It was torpedoed by President Obama in 2015, a month before the Paris Climate Summit. ‘America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change,’ he said upon rejecting a permit for the pipeline’s construction. ‘And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.’”

However welcome the former president’s disapproval of KXL, Obama remained noticeably silent on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s fight to prevent Dakota Access from traversing under the Missouri River just north of the reservation — a route believed to directly endanger the tribe’s only water source.

Energy Transfer Partners, responsible for construction, insists DAPL poses no threat to the Missouri River — but the company’s safety record says otherwise, evincing egregious breaches, spills, and leaks, and calling to question whether the pipeline’s proximity to the water supply of millions is a prudent choice.

Notably, Trump’s announcement immediately succeeds a motion by the tribe in support of the evacuation of camps — a direct contrast to life-or-death devotion many water protectors have declared against construction of Dakota Access.

Indeed, simmering contentions between some Standing Rock tribal leadership and other members of the tribe have fomented a near constant anxiety and a flurry of accusations something untoward may be afoot. Anyone spending time in the area will notice a pall having replaced overwhelming unity present in the pipeline opposition’s early stages last spring.

Tribal council rulings seemed to tacitly confirm those longstanding suspicions over the weekend.

“Cody Two Bears, the Cannon Ball district representative to the tribal council, said the district is requesting federal law enforcement aid in removing protesters from the district and setting up posts blocking those who do not live or work in the district from entering. The district requests these actions be taken in the next 30 days,” reported the Bismarck Tribune on Sunday.

Led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement from at least nine states have on multiple occasions acted aggressively and forcefully against unarmed, prayerful water protectors.

These barbarous crackdowns have left scores injured — several permanently disfigured — and have further highlighted that police forces are guarding pipeline interests over those of the people they were once tasked with keeping safe from harm.

Trump’s action to preempt a full environmental impact study that was supposed to be performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in coming days appeared per the statement only to further embolden law enforcement to act aggressively against the unarmed collective of water protectors.

With the president’s summary actions favoring Big Oil interests over the water supply of millions of Americans — and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department poised to move forcefully on Standing Rock camps — the eyes of the world are once again trained on the United States in a waiting game to see whether violence against the unarmed begging for human rights will take a turn for the deadly.

  • Jill M. Halbert

    From what I watched on President Donald Trump’s signing. He stated, it would be reviewed and that they would be sitting down with the people involved. So what is this article? Please be informed and watch the President’s video again. I will. Look at TruNEWS.

  • Hugh Culliton

    “…This is not about the pipeline or the protests, it is about the rule of law…”

    Bullshit: this is about about greed, power, and control – just like it’s always been. I think it was Jefferson who stated: “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Hope I look good in orange.

    • palvadore

      Courage wears a blood-stained coat that will be pealed from your cold dead body. When they see you have resolve, they will just kill you. Your death will mean nothing! Leave while you can.

  • Brandon Swords

    “This is not about the pipeline or the protests, it is about the rule of law.”
    The police are tresspassing on private property. What a fucking retard.

  • ravencomeslaughing

    “much-needed law enforcement support and public safety resources” OH BS! You stationed two Avenger surface-to-air MISSILE launchers against people with pickup trucks.

    • permalink

      What was it, a week ago when another author here on TFTP, Matt Agorist brought up the Avenger humvee’s there?

      The FLIR (forward-looking-infrared) to **observe** the water-agitators.

      Anyone w/ an ounce of sense knows a Stinger missile could not possibly be used reliably on a ground target — even if they wanted too (the missile system super-elevates before firing).

      Heck, yesterdays article by Matt Agorist (on TFTP) only got 12 comments in 24 hrs…

      Clearly no one is interested anymore.

      • Hugh Culliton

        The point was that the Avengers were apparently brought in to use their FLIRs to observe the protesters. No one said anything about using any missiles in an anti-personnel role!

        • permalink

          Why are you telling me?

          (see above comment)

  • Nathan Straus

    The sheriff has got this. They have military hardware, including the Avenger Rocket Launcher!

    Should be no problem to handle those pesky protesters with one of those babys.

    • KhaleesiBlaq

      You “people” are evil and have no soul or connection to the Earth. It’s in your DNA to destroy anything good and all forms of Life. It’s no surprise that it’s YOUR “people” who want to disurb these peaceful people who only want to preserve their water, a natural resource that belongs to THEM. Your day is coming and it will be soon and it will be GLORIOUS!!!

      • permalink

        Nothing is being destroyed here.

        There is a natural gas pipeline already in place, a high-voltage powerline, and a railroad used to cross there.

        “these peaceful people” get their water from an intake facility in Mobridge, South Dakota, 70 miles away.

      • WoodOnTheBall

        Fighting racism with racism. Khaleesi is not the brightest person I’ve ever seen. You are literally no different than all the white people who fell for the government doctrine of racism meant to divide the middle and lower classes and enforce oppression on each other. It’s not about White vs Black, it’s about greedy vs compassionate, evil vs good. Your rhetoric will only spread racism and hurt black people and white people. USE YOUR BRAIN!!!

        • Guy

          Do you walk, ride a bike, drive a car, or take public transport to you protest rally’s ?

      • Guy

        I hope you don’t mind, but I’am just checking ! Did you not just sit down in a room that was lit by electric lights, to type on a keyboard hooked up to a computer or similar device, run on electricity ? When you went to work today, or school, or what ever, did you go by bus, car or public transport, and when you ate your meal today, even if organic and vegetarian, did it come out of a refrigerator, later to be heated on a stove ? How about the Coffee, Tea or Soda you drank, that was made out of 90% water !? Last question, because I know you are busy and need to get to your protest pronto ! When you took a dump or peed today, did you flush and then hopefully used soap and water to wash your hands with ?
        Amazing you would have the moxie to call us EVIL along with the words DNA, YOUR PEOPLE, THEM And GLORIOUS all in the same paragraph !!!!!!

    • Mother Earth

      Quotation’s like this is arrogant and ignorant to the truth , and the pig got up and slowly walked away

    • GeezerGrunt

      OOOOO, OOOOO, OOOOO! Never seen so many knuckle draggers assembled in one spot sharing the same condom. Gotta be a record.

    • MrRetloc

      Knock Knock…What is it you do not know about Surface to Air missile systems? They are not efficient or accurate when targeting ground targets. DUH!

  • Sandra Beach

    They are preparing for the war they are going to start. Rule of law my arse!

    • permalink

      Ever been in North Dakota during the winter?

  • Phil Freeman

    Cody Schulz 145 Allen Dr
    Lincoln, ND 58504
    Current home Address

  • sorgfelt

    There is a reason for the tribal councils to ask that protesters remove themselves. Unfortunately, we are not told what that reason is. There could be more effective plans afoot. Other than those possible plans, there is only one way in this country to oppose any such thing – use money against it. Stop using oil. Sign up with electricity suppliers who provide their electricity from solar and wind, and buy electric cars or otherwise reduce the use of fossil fuel vehicles wherever possible. That is the only thing that will ultimately prevail until we all become so enlightened that money is no longer powerful.

    • permalink

      “Stop using oil”

      Are we going to stop using plastic (made from oil) in goods?

      Where you going to plug your electric vehicle in while even visiting the sacred camp?

      Are we going to stop transporting goods to cities, where even if people wanted to they could not grow enough food to survive?

      The supposed water-protectors could not even last one winter month on the North Dakota plains w/ out propane heaters and fuel, plastic enclosed porti-potties, and plastic shelters.

      Not using oil is sheer lunacy.


      • ghost

        yeah cause not like hemp cant replace EVERYTHING that oil can make – fuels, plastics, fibers, paper, food, composite lumber oh and guess what oil too. Why do you think its illeagal to grow even tho is has and avg of .3% of that nasty drug thats now legal in what 7 states and the district of columbia where conviently the same people making it illegal to grow Hemp can buy cannabis legally. http://www.hempbasics.com/shop/hemp-information

        • permalink

          So how much hemp have you converted to oil and/ or gasoline?

          • sorgfelt

            I have a plastic cup in my kitchen that was made from hemp plastic. It can be done. I am not saying that we can immediately stop using all oil products, but that we should do what we can, and we can eventually stop using “fossil” oil completely. It is possible to convert hemp to oil and gasoline, but hasn’t been done in production quantities. It is possible to use hydrogen from electrolysis or alcohol from hemp fermentation for space heaters. The U.S. Navy has recently started converting sea water and CO2 into jet fuel using their nuclear reactors for the energy to do it. We do not need fossil fuel.

  • Michael

    Sorry but unless you intend to use force of arms against this unlawful government overreach and fight. You will die on your knees poisoned by your water.

  • Mother Earth

    They wont be happy until they have poisoned the waters that we drink, cut down and burnt the last forest, killed off the last species , we are destined to destroy this planet all for the sake of progress. Creating thousands of jobs for a brief time then we have catastrophes which will affect the mankind for millennium , this is madness”

  • Dennis P Ginther

    Trump will not be re-elected. A very bad decision Don!

  • Dennis P Ginther

    Get off their land! If the government can intrude on them? They will do it to you! Property owners must stay protected. Or we are renters not land owners.

  • kcgoat

    he is not going to be satisfied till a lot of his cops are killed

  • brown7228

    Bullshit: this is about about greed, power, and control. True but it’s also about jobs. There is no doubt that the oil industry is dying. I say if they want to spend the money let them. In the next fifteen years technology advancement will eliminate the need for oil as we know it today. The energy revolution can’t be stopped. Trump thinks by stopping government assistance he will stop the electric car, but the United States plays a small part in this. All he will do is cut us out off the future market. In 2015 the world produced 90 million cars. We the United States only produced 12 million of them. We created this world market now we have lost control of it. Trump is not the only player in this game. Nuclear power is the answer for electricity and don’t forget Hydrogen fuel for cars.

  • Mother Earth

    This environmental damage is going to be the start of our demise when money matters more than the life of our Planet, when people in high places control the devastation of recourses and take what little we have to fund their power and control, we are heading down the road of no return thanks to Capitalism and GREED.

  • permalink