Published September 23, 2016
MANDAN, NORTH DAKOTA — The Morton County Sheriff’s Department is leading a task force to investigate how and why dogs were turned loose on American Indian land and water protectors on Saturday, September 3, 2016.
The investigation includes a focus on those hired by Dakota Access Pipeline to provide private security services on that day, whether or not they were licensed, and their actions. The task force is also exploring whether or not native artifacts were disturbed at the worksite. In addition, the investigative team is reviewing the actions of the land and water protectors.
“This task force is an investigative tool comprised of law enforcement and detectives with specific areas of expertise to gather, evaluate and possibly prosecute for crimes. I am using all tools possible to insure this investigation is carried out with no bias toward Dakota Access Pipeline nor the pipeline protestors,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier.
The task force is made up of members from Morton and Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Bureau of Indian Affairs. There is no timeline for when the investigation will be complete.
Kirchmeier added, “It is important we give this incident a thorough examination. Law enforcement was not present on the scene during the confrontation and there have been allegations on both sides of this issue.”
The Morton County Sheriff’s Department is soliciting additional information regarding the incident at the DAPL worksite on that day. Contact the Sheriff’s Department at (701) 667-3330 with information.