Associate Press copy is provided via The Canadian Press
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a federal judge’s 2021 decision dismissing a lawsuit filed by protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline, who alleged law enforcement officers used excessive force during a clash in 2016.
Nine protesters filed the lawsuit in 2016. They alleged civil and constitutional rights violations in officers’ use of tear gas, rubber bullets, shotgun bean bags and water in below-freezing temperatures during the clash on Nov. 20, 2016, at a blocked highway bridge. Lead plaintiff and Navajo Nation member Vanessa Dundon said she sustained an eye injury.
The lawsuit’s defendants included the Morton and Stutsman county sheriffs, the Mandan police chief and 100 unidentified officers. In 2021, U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor granted the officers’ request to dismiss the case. The protesters appealed in 2022. The appeals court decision affirming Traynor’s ruling came Nov. 3.
The defendants’ attorney, Randall Bakke, told The Bismarck Tribune that “Morton County and the other defendants are pleased with the 8th Circuit appellate court’s decision to uphold the North Dakota federal district court’s dismissal of all the plaintiffs’ claims against them.”
The protesters’ attorney, Rachel Lederman, told the newspaper: “This has been a hard-fought struggle by Indigenous-led water protectors to vindicate their constitutional rights, which were so egregiously violated at Standing Rock. It is disappointing to see the federal courts readily absolve law enforcement who brutally pummeled nonviolent, peaceful people with freezing high pressure water and dangerous, maiming munitions for hours on end.”
Similar lawsuits continue to play out, including cases filed by three protesters who say they were injured because of officers’ actions, and by two photographers who allege officers used excessive force and violated their constitutional rights while they were covering the protest.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released a draft environmental review of the oil pipeline, part of a lengthy process expected to result in late 2024 with a decision as to the line’s controversial Missouri River crossing near the Standing Rock Reservation.
The pipeline has been operating since 2017. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe opposes the pipeline as a risk to its drinking water supply due to the potential of a spill.
- 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_300062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
- 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
- 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
- 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
- 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
- 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
- 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
- 0015 Latus Viro0015 Latus Viro
- 0052 Predator Inspections0052 Predator Inspections
- 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
- 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
- 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
- 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
- 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
- 0022 Grimes winter hiring
- 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
- 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
- 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
- 0006 JK Junior