The use of attack dogs against unarmed women and children was extensively documented by Democracy Now and resulted in an arrest warrant for journalist Amy Goodman. It also resulted in a national shaming for the Sheriff's Department. Still there has been no action taken so far against Morton County for an obvious and serious FAA violation.
On October 3, Morton County Sheriff Kyle L. Kirchmeier issued a felony arrest warrant for 19 year old Mason Redwing. According to the affidavit filed in Morton County, "Redwing's actions caused the officer to be in fear for his safety as well as the safety of officers manning the line in front of the protesters. The officer said Redwing clearly had a reckless disregard of the risk of causing terror and disruption when he escalated an already tense situation with the charge of his horse causing officers to fear serious bodily injury."
Above the Law?
There have been no charges filed against the Sheriff or DAPL for a possible felony offense for hiring a 4,450 pound Bell 206B helicopter with falsified registration. The FAA is a civil agency. and does not have the authority to file criminal charges. The FAA has the authority to assess civil monetary penalties and/or suspend or revoke a pilot's license. Any criminal charges would be filed by the Justice Department, totally at their discretion. Nor has the Sheriff or anyone from Energy Transfer Inc. been charged with assault by the Justice Department for using attack dogs on women and children.
The cliche' question presents itself. Is Sheriff Kyle L. Kirchmeier and/or DAPL above the law? What are the real reasons behind the unusual incidents behind crop dusters and fraudulent aircraft identification numbers?
We are waiting for the results of a second FOIA request. We have no timeframe on the answers, but a Public Affairs Manager of the FAA said in an email that the FAA "takes this type of violation very seriously," and urged us to continue asking the necessary questions.
UPDATE and Correction:
Arnold Johnson Jr. is the registered owner of aircraft flying under false N number. Monte R. Myers owns Double M Helicopters. A Mr. MEYERS is referenced in FOIA response (s) and according to FOIA response admitted to falsifying N number, but we do not know for sure because of spelling inconsistencies in FAA responses. We do NOT KNOW the name of the pilot, or who HIRED the helicopter. FOIA number (s) are 2017-000029F6 and 2016-009518F6 "Mr. Meyers" is identified as the "operator" of the aircraft.
Sandy Rosenthal, founder of Levees.org and filmmaker Keri Pickett (keripickett.com) assisted with research. Bonny Schumaker (onwingsofcare.org) provided aviation assistance and clarifications.
(Article changed on October 3, 2016 at 23:12)
(Article changed on October 7, 2016 at 11:09)
(Article changed on October 7, 2016 at 14:32)