Federal government denies Morton County's request for federal officers' help with DAPL protests

Police at the North Dakota pipeline protest, Photo Date: September 4, 2016
Police at the North Dakota pipeline protest, Photo Date: September 4, 2016(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 14, 2016 at 4:07 PM CST
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The federal government will not be sending in 100 federal officers to help with the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, as requested.

Wyn Hornbuckle, a spokesman for the Justice Department, says sending border patrol and members of the U.S. Marshals Service Special Operations Group might escalate, not ease, tensions between law enforcement and protesters.

In response, Morton county Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in a statement

"Only in Washington, D.C., would facilitating meetings be considered 'action' in response to the kind of aggression our law enforcement officers and North Dakota citizens have had to face over these past months".

Sen. John Hoeven released the following statement Wednesday after the Department of Justice denied Morton county's request for additional law enforcement personnel to assist with Dakota Access Pipeline protests and related incidents:

“The Obama administration again declined our request for both law enforcement personnel and funding to address the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. We have repeatedly requested federal law enforcement assistance to help state and local law enforcement, who have shown dedication and professionalism in working to keep the peace and protect people who live and work in the area of the protests. Further, they have denied assistance despite the fact that the Obama administration has prolonged the problem by refusing to approve the easement, which would allow the pipeline project to be completed. "That’s why we have already reached out to the next administration to provide assistance to state and local law enforcement to help them keep the peace, as well as to issue the easement so that construction can be completed. We have spoken with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions and the Trump transition team to secure this assistance, and we will work in Congress to secure funding as well. We are committed to doing all we can to resolve this problem, which has been very difficult for North Dakotans.”