Federal judge sides with law enforcement in Dakota Access Pipeline protest suit

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A federal judge ruled in favor of law enforcement officials in a lawsuit brought by protestors who demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline, alleging excessive use of force by police in 2016.

The suit, filed in 2017, claimed police fired water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas and exploding munitions “indiscriminately” into the crowd, according to The Bismarck Tribune. At the time, demonstrators and police clashed at the border of Stand Rock Sioux Reservation in freezing temperatures. 

Lawyers for the defendants, which included Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler, alleged that officers were outnumbered and that they feared for their lives. 

U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor said police conduct was reasonable in the face of an “unprecedented” protest, the Tribune reported. 

“The most telling of the entire situation is the fact that…

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