Tribal chairmen address use of force moving and arresting DAPL protesters
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier met with media this morning outside the Morton County Sheriff's Department to respond to the use of force by law enforcement officials.
The chairmen say the sheriff's office and other law enforcement officials used excessive force to move protesters off Hwy 1806 and land now owned by Dakota Access.
Archambault says the purchase of that land was illegal under North Dakota's anti-corporate farming law.
He says while the tribes were informed of Dakota Access's plans, correspondence is not consultation.
Frazier claims people who have been arrested have been mistreated.
He says his tribe is looking at filing a lawsuit against law enforcement officials.
"You know, I have calls from some of our elected leadership at home and they said, 'Chairman, what's the plan?' How can you make a plan when you're going against guns, weapons? The only thing I can say is we need to stay together and pray," says Frazier.
"The company still continues to construct, so how can we sit down and try to come up with solutions when this company, this bad company, is still pursing construction? And everyone seems to be protecting them," says Archambault.
Archambault accused Dakota Access of hiring someone to infiltrate the camp and make the protesters look like villains.
A spokesperson for the pipeline's parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, calls those claims "unequivocally false."