Standing Rock Protesters File Class Action Lawsuit Over Police Violence

Standing Rock Protesters Just Took SERIOUS Action Against Brutal, Out Of Control Cops

The Brutality Standing Rock Protesters Have Endured Is Being Met With A Class Action Lawsuit

When it comes to extreme violence and human rights abuses, the events at the Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline project protest on November 20 could go down as one of America’s darkest moments in recent history.

The Guardian outlines the importance of the Standing Rock protest in modern America, especially now that Trump is the president-elect.

“It’s a remarkable encampment, perhaps the greatest show of indigenous unity in the continent’s history. If Trump Tower represents all that’s dark and greedy in America right now, Standing Rock is by contrast the moral center of the nation.”

Now, The Intercept is reporting that a class action lawsuit was filed on Monday against North Dakota law enforcers who were at the center of the brutal attack on protestors that left many injured and many more doused in water on a freezing winter night, putting them in extreme danger.

“The lawsuit alleges that sheriff’s deputies and police officers used excessive force when they deployed impact munitions, like rubber bullets, as well as explosive tear gas grenades and water cannons against protesters. It argues that the tactics were retaliatory, punishing those involved for exercising free speech rights. It also argues that officers were inadequately trained to handle the situation, naming Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler, and Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Keiser as defendants.”

The lawsuit, brought forth by the National Lawyers Guild’s Water Protectors Legal Collective, also seeks an injunction against law enforcement to prevent them from employing the brutal techniques they have been using.

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The extreme violence that occurred on that night focused around a bridge that has been blocked by protesters so that construction workers can’t get to the pipeline to do any work. Arizona’s Vanessa Dundon of the Navajo Nation was caught up in the attack and sustained serious injuries. She was shot in the thigh with a rubber bullet and hit by a tear gas canister.

“I did not have time to move to avoid being hit by the [tear gas] canister. I instinctively closed my eyes and was struck in the right eye by the canister. My eye was bleeding so much that I could not see and I was worried my eyeball was hanging out.”

As the CBC reports, this all comes as the Governor of the North Dakota, Jack Dalrymple, issued an executive order for all protesters to leave the Standing Rock protest site and don’t come back. The claim is that the protesters are in danger because of the….weather. That’s right; they aren’t endangered by tear gas and rubber bullets. The danger lies in the fact that North Dakota has winter, apparently.

“Morton County is currently experiencing severe winter weather storm conditions, and it is anticipated harsh winter conditions will continue until next spring. Winter conditions have the potential to endanger human life, especially when they are exposed to these conditions without proper shelter, dwellings, or sanitation for prolonged periods of time.”

It appears, suddenly, the Governor has a deep concern about the health and safety of protesters. So, where was he on November 20 when they were being viciously attacked?

Image via Dara de Brun/Twitter

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Chris Hearn is an ageing freelance writer located in wintery Winnipeg. He is a stay-at-home-parent, amateur stand-up comedian, and a guy with a lot of opinions, much to everyone’s dismay.