Conflict continues between DAPL protesters, law enforcement

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MANDAN, N.D. - There was far less conflict in the Dakota Access Pipeline situation Friday, but protesters and police still have plenty of say about what happened on Thursday when both sides violently clashed.

Thursday, law enforcement asked demonstrators to move back to their original camp, which is not on private property, but many of them refused. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says authorities responded with patience and professionalism, but demonstrators say they used excessive force.

A scene of chaos on Highway 1806 Thursday as law enforcement pressed Dakota Access Pipeline protesters back to their original camp. Authorities arrested 142 people.

"There's definitely a certain group out there that agitates people, that wants to get people fired up," says Kirchmeier.

The department says besides throwing homemade explosives and logs at officers, several fires were started by some protesting, and there were reports of shooting incidents. When asked about the fires, one demonstrator says they don't compare to law enforcement's actions.

"As far as the tires and the fires go, I don't know who decided that was what was going to happen, but that's not the same as state violence towards peaceful people in prayer," says Michael Knudsen, protester.

Knudsen says officers used excessive force to push demonstrators back to the original camp. He says many protesters and horses were injured. Law enforcement says they didn't use lethal force.

"Our health was in imminent threat based on some of those actions, so we used the force necessary to diffuse that. Some of that was with less-than lethal ammunitions, but we only used the force necessary to diffuse the situation to continue moving people south yesterday," says Captain Bryan Niewind, Commander.

Those in custody were taken to jails across the state, and Knudsen says he's not sure where some of his friends are. Many connected to the protest traveled long distances to bail friends and family out.

"There was yelling for sure, and it's because they're passionate. But they just took her because she was standing there basically, and I think they were trying to grab as many people as they could," says Sydney Belt, Eagle Butte South Dakota.

Kirchmeier says officers are continuing to stop protesters from moving north to where they established their new camp.

The North Dakota Stockmen's Association says more ranchers' animals were killed near the scene. Four bison were butchered, and two cows were killed and burned.