According to a Daily Caller article just released Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to meet with the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) Executive Director Jonathan Thompson about the law enforcement issues at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota.
In an email obtained by The Daily Caller, Executive Director Thompson told NSA personnel, that the Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to deploy federal resources in support of local Morton County, North Dakota Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier in an effort to stem criminal activity from the anti-pipeline protesters. A source close to the situation also told The Daily Caller that the DOJ has told the US Attorney in North Dakota to stand down on aid to the state.
Meanwhile, protesters have continued to threaten nearby residents, motorists, and the press as well as law enforcement officers. 123 individuals have been arrested since August 11th, only 13 percent of which were from North Dakota. Many of whom have a violent prior arrest record that includes robbery, burglary, theft, domestic violence and child abuse, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and drug possession.
Charges stemming from anti-Dakota Access protests include arson, vandalism, trespassing, illegal slaughter of livestock, and destruction of property.
The issues facing North Dakota are certainly not ones that a rural county Sheriff is accustomed to dealing with or has the resources to confront, nor should the burden continue to be placed on the people of North Dakota. The federal government’s response should be twofold; give the assistance necessary to deal with this escalating crisis and as issue the necessary easement to allow the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe. Once this is done and construction can continue, the protests can be effectively muted.
But the ball is in the federal government’s court, and since the Justice Department signed a letter encouraging a halt to construction to “hear all sides” of the argument, they bear the responsibility of allowing these protests to escalate. As the adage goes, you make the mess, you clean it up.