Morton Co. Sheriff responds to class action lawsuit filed against agency over DAPL protests

By  | 

MANDAN, N.D. - Several law enforcement agencies responding to Dakota Access Pipeline protests are being sued by some demonstrators for using excessive force during an incident earlier this month.

Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says they reject the allegations.

The people who call themselves "The Water Protector Legal Collective" say the lawsuit stems from November 20 when they say the sheriff and other agencies assisting used a militarized, violent response towards protesters.

Civil Rights Attorney Rachel Lederman says it's a class action lawsuit on behalf of everyone injured that day, but there are nine named plaintiffs.

Lederman says:

"Our goal is to get the judge to prohibit the law enforcement agencies from indiscriminate use of impact munitions, explosive grenades, chemical agents, water, as a means of dispersing crowds."

When asked about the lawsuit, Kirchmeier says:

"The real brutality is committed violent protesters who use improvised explosive devices to attack police, use hacked information to threaten officers and their families and use weapons to kill livestock, harming farmers and ranchers. We will continue to enforce the law and urge those lawful protesters to isolate those who are unlawful."