Families Of South Dakota Officers Are Being Targeting And Harassed By Pipeline Protesters
Hundreds of law enforcement officers and their families from the Morton County Sheriff’s Office and South Dakota area that have been assigned to assist in security for the Dakota Area Pipeline protest are now being targeted by activists.
The officers report that they are being followed, that unauthorized pictures are being taken of them and that their families are being harassed. The activists are using a technique known as “doxing,” where personal data like home addresses and names of spouses or children are being publicized.
The Morton County Sheriff’s Office said that “they will not be intimidated by the protesters” and “fail to see peaceful protest” in this behavior. According to Sgt. Tim Bruggeman of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office (from Michigan), “to see this and to know the reality of it, it is extremely intimidating.” Sgt. Bruggeman went on to say that “It is fearful that when you sign up to be a cop, you know the risks, and families are supportive of it, but they did not sign up to be harassed or come home from the grocery store with a couple of children and someone is standing at the front door because your address is posted.”
The protest has turned into an ongoing riot and officers are serving in rotating shifts. Both agencies have said that this targeted harassment will not continue and that they will continue doing their job. According to news sources, tensions continue to escalate in North Dakota and 16 people were arrested at a demonstration on Monday On Sunday, North Dakota law enforcement used low-pressure water cannons to disperse a group of about 400 rioters trying to move past a barricaded bridge toward construction sites for the project. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department defined the demonstration as an “ongoing riot,” and released photos that showed protesters “setting fires and using aggressive tactics.”
One protester was hospitalized after an explosion, and the protesters accused law enforcement of throwing a grenade at her. Law enforcement leaders on scene advised that they did not use “flashbangs” or any sort of explosive on scene, and so it couldn’t have come from the police. Officers located small propane tanks among the protesters, rigged to act as explosives, but there were no reports of the protesters using them as weapons or throwing them at officers.
Even if you agree with the protester’s cause, where’s the line drawn on their illegal behavior? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.