Source: Democracy Now
Published: October 17, 2016
It seems the more that we hear the firsthand accounts of the Standing Rock Sioux fighting for clean water for both themselves and a large portion of the American population, the more we learn about the true nature of the acting law enforcement on the scene.
From multiple firsthand accounts we hear of these officers going outside of necessity, outside of decency, and even going outside of the law for the sake of the pipeline project which according to the National Lawyers Guild, has no basis in constitutional law. These acting officers carry heavy artillery and use excessive force in order to face peaceful and unarmed Natives defending their own land.
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As this ordeal has progressed, it has gradually revealed itself to be the typical situation of official corruption where police abandon the American Constitution for the sake of corporate interests. According to multiple victims, these officers have no issue abusing these people for nothing more than their own amusement. These along with multiple other instances of abusive and violent law enforcement reveal that at times, not even hate crimes are considered illegal when they are committed by those in uniform.
Personally, if I were a police officer in this country, and I had to wear the same uniform as those who freely committed crimes in plain sight like so many American police have become known to do, I would be ashamed. My shame would stem from swearing an oath to protect and serve, and then remaining silent when others who took that same oath treated that oath like a joke. If I were one of these officers at Standing Rock, I would be ashamed because I would realize that my duty included defending the innocent, and that due to my own failure I let the innocent down for the sake of the corrupted banks and the crooked officers standing next to me.
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I realize that when it comes to doing the right thing, there is risk and uncertainty. The officer who has the ability to tell the difference between duty and fraternal expectation to conform may still have hope. However, those who perpetrate and enable criminal behavior among their own ranks have already lost their honor, as well as the respect of others. When the time comes, those who could not see this difference may be punished along with the corrupt.
Dakota Excess Pipeline? Standing Rock Protectors Strip-Searched
We discuss the crackdown on the resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline with Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist and executive director of the group Honor the Earth who lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota, and Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth. Police have begun deploying military-grade equipment, including armored personnel carriers, surveillance helicopters, planes and drones. North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple activated the National Guard in late September. Roughly 140 people have been arrested. Some report being strip-searched in custody at the Morton County jail and being held for days without bond, even when they are facing minor misdemeanor charges.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. We’re broadcasting live from outside the courthouse and jail in Mandan, North Dakota. Water and land protectors, as they call themselves, report facing increasing repression amidst the ongoing resistance to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. Police have begun deploying military-grade equipment, including armored personnel carriers, surveillance helicopters, planes and drones. North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple activated the National Guard in late September. Roughly 140 people have been arrested. Some report being strip-searched in custody at the Morton County jail, even when they’re facing minor misdemeanor charges. This is Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle, a pediatrician on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
DR. SARA JUMPING EAGLE: When I was taken to the jail, first I was taken by a corrections officer, transported from the protest site to the Morton County jail. And then, when they took me in there, you know, they had to take some basic information. And then, one of the things that they do is have you go into a small room, and there was a female officer there, and we had to—I had to take my clothes off, and then, I don’t know, basically—
AMY GOODMAN: Cavity search?
DR. SARA JUMPING EAGLE: No, not a cavity search, but I had to squat and cough. That’s what she said. I had to squat and cough and then put the orange suit on.
AMY GOODMAN: So you were put in an orange jumpsuit?
DR. SARA JUMPING EAGLE: Yeah, I was put in an orange jumpsuit. And then I was held there for several hours. And initially, you know, my family didn’t know where I was or didn’t—you know, they heard about it pretty quickly and were able to come and bond me out or bail me out. I don’t know what you call it. But I was in there for several hours.
AMY GOODMAN: How did it make you feel?
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DR. SARA JUMPING EAGLE: It made me feel—you know, it made me think about my ancestors and what had they gone through. And this was in no way a comparison to what we’ve survived before, so just made me feel more determined about what I’m doing and why I’m here.
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