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Unmitigated Gall in North Dakota Legislature Now in Uproar: Who's Footing the Bill for Standing Rock Brutality?

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The videos filmed by Unicorn Riot at Standing Rock were unforgettable depicting pepper spraying Native people, using attack dogs, high frequency noise weapons, batons, percussion grenades, plus other weapons, plus disruptive brute force and almost 600 arrests since the protests began late in the summer of 2016.

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Now, the ND Legislature is contorting itself fiscally to determine who and how this $22 million police expense bill will be paid for. The police action in effect boiled down to using public law enforcement entities from all over the Midwest as basically a private mercenary force, acting at the request of the Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners corporate Chairman with those requests going through the Governor of ND, Jack Dalrymple.

A first class lawsuit could easily unravel the chain of command and establish liability, if that challenge goes beyond the collective abilities of the North Dakota legislators .

Maybe these Bismarck budget bean counters in the House and Senate should reserve a few more million dollars to compensate the victims of this brutality, especially the young woman who has lost most of the use of her arm from a percussion grenade, and the Native American woman who will never see out of one of her eyes again, thanks to those excessive cops at Standing Rock.

A few more million to settle suits asking for punitive and exemplary damages might pile up in time to be equal to the amount incurred for the police, which I believe were entirely unnecessary, in retrospect....

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Update: With Senator John Hoeven (Republican of North Dakota) recently elected by his fellow Republicans to chair the Indian Affairs Committee, this may become a moot discussion, that of the funding for the police action and in fact, the entire Dakota Access Pipeline project, and both will no doubt get a boost from Chairman Hoeven, who has repeatedly made clear that he not only supports DAPL but considers the protest effort as "violent."

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Summarizing an Associated Press story by Blake Nicholson:

The cost of policing the Dakota Access pipeline protests in North Dakota is more than $22 million. Legislators now are saying that would fund the state Treasury Department for 20 years.

These Protest-related funding decisions and allocations will be made by state lawmakers during the 2017 session. Leaders of House and Senate appropriation committees are concerned, and wishfully thinking that the Federal government will dip into its ostensibly deep pockets and cover this amount.

"We're not happy at all that the federal government is not ponying up. This should be their responsibility," said Rep. Jeff Delzer, R-Underwood, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. "But the fact of the matter is, until they pony up, we have to cover those costs."

Thousands of opponents filled the encampments to protest the four-state, $3.8 billion project over the summer, and then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued an emergency declaration in August to cover law enforcement expenses related to protests.

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There have been nearly 600 arrests in the region since August, but the encampment has shrunk since December 4, after the Army Corps of Engineers withdrew their eviction notice for the next day, December 5, asking for a change in locations for the pipeline, and questioning how the pipeline could cross, go under, or around a Missouri River reservoir, and how this would affect tribal rights.

The Standing Rock Sioux and its supporters maintain that the pipeline clearly threatens drinking water and Native American cultural sites. The North Dakota Corrections Department and Transportation Department used money from their own budgets hoping that they would be reimbursed later. intent of repaying it late.

Most of the repressive police action took place in Morton County, which ran up another $2.5 million in costs not covered by North Dakota, bringing the total cost to taxpayers to nearly $22.5 million. Most of the money was used to pay for policing and overtime.

Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he thinks that any kind of funding ceiling is highly unlikely. "I don't think we will put an artificial cap on the protection of our citizens," he said.

>>>>>

For the record: I have published 25 prior articles on Standing Rock here at OpEdNews, starting with the earliest first on the list below.

In terms of its demonstrable political results and its strategic effect, the one asking 4 US Senators to Intercede was perhaps the most effective because I believe it directly led to Obama ordering the Army Corps of Engineers to back down and rescind their December 5 eviction notice.

In terms of the number of page views, the earliest one listed below, about the NYC Council standing united with the North Dakota Protesters, with the Unicorn Riot video has had the most page views of any article ever at OpEdNews, almost 200,000 page views. Facebook groups spread it widely. This record number of page views resulted from the quality of the embedded video, not the few paragraphs of my writing.

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NYC Council "STANDS UNITED" WITH N.DAKOTA PROTESTERS, 2 new videos of police using pepper spray and rubber bullets

click here

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US Demands a Resolution: Standing Rock Defenders Article and Police Videos Hit #1 in Page Views in OpEdNews, since 2004

click here

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Norwegian Bank Considering Pulling out of Dakota Pipeline Investment (10%) if "Native Concerns Not Addressed"

click here

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Norwegian Bank sells 10% stake in North Dakota Pipeline plus Video of Beating of Protester at Wells Fargo in Bismarck

click here

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Petition asks Department of Justice to Prosecute ND's Governor Dalrymple for Standing Rock Abuses / Tear Gas Video

click here

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Update on Injuries to Sophia Wilansky, who may lose her arm due to injuries from North Dakota police concussion grenade

click here

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New Mexico Cartoonist Ricardo Cate "Without Reservations" Reports from Standing Rock

click here

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NM's Senator Heinrich asks Obama to Move Pipeline; "Don't Reward Inexcusable Brutality"; 2nd Norwegian Bank Pulls Out

click here

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Sophie Wilansky's Father Wayne Speaks at Length in this Video about his Daughter's Injuries at Standing Rock

click here

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North Dakota Gov. Suspends One Sheriff; Army Corps of Engineers is Evicting Water Defenders

click here

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4 US Senators: Ask the Army Corps of Engineers to Rescind Standing Rock Eviction: Heinrich, Booker, Sanders and Franken

click here

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NM Senator Heinrich Asks President to Overturn Arbitrary Date of 12/5 to Evict Standing Rock Demonstrators

click here

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National Lawyers Guild Files First Standing Rock Class Action Suit!

click here

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"The Violence at Standing Rock Must End" Nevada Senator Harry Reid Speaks out in Support

click here

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New Moveon Petition asks Key US Senators to Expand and Strengthen Standing Rock Support

click here

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NM's Senator Tom Udall Calls for Urgent Action on Dakota Pipeline to Protect Tribal Rights, Safety of Demonstrators

click here

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The People Speak out in Defense of the Standing Rock Defenders, from Moveon Petition Signers

click here

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Statement by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

click here

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Standing Rock isn't Over; Discussion of Trump's Attorney General and Potential Homeland Security Secretary

click here

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Michigan's Senator Stabenow on Large Oil Spill plus MoveOn Petition Comments, Recent ND Drone Videos

click here

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Native American Lands Soon to be Under Assault by Developers Allied With Trump Administration

click here

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Latest Update For Sophia Wilansky, one among the hundreds who got ambushed at Standing Rock

click here

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Tribal Coalition in Montana Predicted Zinke as Trump's Interior Secretary last May

click here

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Official Response from US Senator Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) on Dakota Access Pipeline

click here

(Article changed on January 12, 2017 at 10:11)

(Article changed on January 13, 2017 at 00:00)

 

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