Chase Iron Eyes
Published April 5, 2018
MANDAN, NORTH DAKOTA – On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, Judge Lee Christofferson upheld earlier rulings that the state of North Dakota, law enforcement agencies and private security contractors must comply with discovery demands from former congressionl candidate, Dakota Access pipeline protestor and Lakota People’s Law Project attorney, Chase Iron Eyes. The judge admonished deputy state’s attorney Chase Lingle for his previous lack of compliance and ordered Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier to court to testify under oath. The Judge then gave Kirchmeier less than a month to comply with all discovery demands, saying the sheriff must produce an affidavit by the end of April stating that he has done so.
Notably, Judge Christofferson also ordered militarized security contractor TigerSwan to respond to the defense’s discovery demands. The defense will be given 120 days of time for discovery, beginning May 1. All remaining pretrial motions, including the defense’s motion to pursue a “necessity defense”, will be due by July 20. The hearing on these motions will be held on Aug. 23. The Iron Eyes trial date has now been moved back to November 5.
Here are statements from Iron Eyes and his attorney, Daniel Sheehan, following today’s hearing:
Chase Iron Eyes, Lakota People’s Law Project Lead Counsel: “We hoped for an encouraging outcome today, and we got it. Our liberty depends on our collective ability to stand in protest of injustices and in support of our inherent constitutional, human and environmental rights. My personal liberty is also at stake, and I’m proud to stand on the front line of such a critical battle at a pivotal moment in history. This trial can safeguard our right to free speech and assembly. That’s something that’s already great about America, and I mean to make sure it is never compromised.”
Daniel Sheehan, Lakota People’s Law Project Chief Counsel: “We’re elated that Judge Christofferson upheld the court’s prior decisions. In order for real justice to be served, it’s imperative that all those involved in the policing of Standing Rock during the pipeline protests be held to full account. We must be allowed to gather all available information and documentation as a crucial first step in that process, and we couldn’t be happier that our right to do so will be vigorously enforced. At the trial in November, we look forward to presenting a complete picture of what really happened at Standing Rock.”