BISMARCK, ND – As protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline continues, so does the need for law enforcement funding.
That's why North Dakota's congressional delegation has teamed up to request federal reinforcements for the state and for law enforcement. In a letter sent to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commanding Gen. Lt. Todd Semonite,
The delegation requests extra resources from the Obama administration.
They say that the increased protest activity has sparked growing concern over the well being of the community, and that increased support for law enforcement is necessary to ensure the protests do not escalate.
"Safety has to be a priority for our farmers and ranchers in the area. So we need to make sure that we have enough law enforcement to protect the well being of our farmers and our ranchers and their property and if there is any wrong doing that it is fully investigated and prosecuted," said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said, "This president and his merry band of bureaucrats are going to be able to hide behind sovereign immunity, which means there will be no means for civil relief from these people who're the ones most at fault for the problem."
The letter also says that it will cost the state about a million dollars a week to sustain law enforcement capabilities.
N.D. congressional delegation's original letter calling for federal reinforcements:
In denouncing the recent news of the unlawful butchering and displacement of livestock near Cannon Ball, U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp, John Hoeven, and Congressman Kevin Cramer today called for federal resources to support the efforts of Morton County law enforcement to keep tribes, ranchers, workers, and their property safe.
“When tensions are high, North Dakotans have always been able to count on one another to treat our neighbors, our land, and our livestock with dignity and respect,” said Heitkamp. “That’s what makes the news of unlawful butchering and taking of livestock so appalling. If the Administration is serious about maintaining the peace and sanctity of this land and our communities, it’s absolutely critical that it steps in with the support our local law enforcement needs to keep our ranchers, our tribes, and the protesters protected. For months I’ve been pushing our federal agencies to provide the resources and certainty North Dakotans need, and I’ll keep it up – because no family or business should have to fear for their personal safety or the safety of their property.”
“Stealing and butchering livestock is something no one can justify,” said Hoeven. “It represents not only the destruction of private property, but also deprives hardworking ranchers of their livelihood and causes them to fear for the safety of themselves and their families. We continue our call for the Obama Administration to provide much-needed assistance to state and local law enforcement to ensure that people and property are protected from this kind of unlawful activity. Also, the administration needs to act decisively and allow pipeline construction to proceed to completion so that the protest can be brought to an end and residents can resume their lives without fear of harm.”
“The Administration is to blame for this senseless act,” said Cramer. “Unfortunately, the President and his bureaucrats will be able to hide behind sovereign immunity, providing no means for civil relief from those who are most at fault. Just what must occur before Washington will step in and end this?”
Click here to read the letter sent to U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General Loretta Lynch, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commanding General Lieutenant Todd Semonite, requesting federal reinforcements for North Dakota state and federal law enforcement.