An Excessive Force lawsuit was filed against the Morton Country Sheriff for the gruesome events that took place during a November 20 bridge attack on Water Protectors at DAPL, but the Sheriff’s office continues to assault people claiming the Sheriff simply didn’t know that the lawsuit had been filed.
Why didn’t Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier know about the lawsuit?
Because he used his power of office to refuse being served with the paperwork. According to a motion brought before Judge Daniel Hovland, “Although he was present in his office, Sheriff Kirchmeier did not make himself available for personal service. On the morning of December 1, the Morton County States Attorney accepted service on behalf of Sheriff Kirchmeier.”
Here is a clear example of law enforcement using their power to manipulate the law for their own benefit. While this may be a shocking piece of information for some people, Water Protectors at DAPL are not surprised at all. To Natives, this is just another example on a long, long list of atrocities and lies from the US Government.
The lawsuit names not only the Morton County Sheriff but also Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler. You may remember Ziegler from his snarky comments defending the use of force against protestors. “It was effective, wasn’t it? We can use whatever force is necessary to maintain peace. When they are throwing rocks, burning logs, shooting slingshots with projectiles at our officers, that would fall under what we would call less lethal, same things as rubber bullets, which doesn’t hurt as much.”
Water Protectors are throwing rocks, and law enforcement disproportionally retaliates with all sorts of “Non-lethal” ordinances such as water cannons, lead-filled beanbags, and explosive teargas grenades. According to Ziegler, it’s ok because “it was effective, wasn’t it?”
It is deeply disturbing to know that in the eyes of law enforcement, we’re still living in a time when outright state-funded violence is the go-to method for resolving conflicts.
It really is “pitchfork and torches time in America,” like Milwaukee Sheriff David A Clarke said in October.