Excessive use of force claims sent back to district court in DAPL protester case
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The lawsuit for an Arizona man who sued North Dakota law enforcement after he says they violated his civil rights during Dakota Access Pipeline protests in 2016 is getting another look.
Marcus Mitchell was arrested during DAPL protests but made a pretrial agreement with the state to conditionally dismiss the charges against him. Mitchell then sued against various North Dakota officials, individuals, and municipal defendants. He says law enforcement violated his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments and shot him with lead-filled bean bags that shattered his eye socket. The district court dismissed his claims with prejudice.
Now, federal appeals judges ruled that the district court erred in several judgments. They say a lower court judge improperly dismissed Mitchell’s claims that officers used excessive force, that Morton County law enforcement exhibited a pattern of using excessive force against peaceful protesters, and Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier tacitly authorized this force.
The judges sent these claims back to be revisited by the district court.
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