More cases have been dropped against the peaceful protesters that were harassed and assaulted by a militarized Morton County police department. Court records show that authorities dropped almost 3 dozen more cases against DAPL protesters last month.
The Bismarck Tribune reported prosecutors and judges dropped the 33 misdemeanor cases while another 14 were resolved by guilty pleas. Most of the cases dropped last month related to criminal trespass charges from the late summer and fall.
“Prosecutors struggled to prove those charges before Judge Allan Schmalenberger, who ruled in multiple cases that the Morton County State’s Attorney office had failed to meet its burden of proving that protesters were given proper notice that they were on private land, either with signs or verbal warnings.”
They struggled because the protesters were mostly on Native land according to a treaty with the federal government.
During the months of protests, 761 arrests were made against the water protectors. No police officers have been held accountable for the vicious assaults against peaceful people. No arrests were made against DAPL security guards that attacked the protesters, even when they attacked them with unlicensed attack dogs and threatened them with an assault rifle. No charges were brought against officers that broke a federal law by shooting down a drone, or the officers responsible for shooting peaceful people with water cannons in freezing temperatures.
Shailene Woodley, star of the “Divergent” films, who livestreamed her arrest on Facebook, made a deal and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges in order to avoid any possible jail time.
Overall, there has been a massive injustice in relation to the DAPL protests. Police were extremely abusive, even to the point the UN condemned the behavior, and they were never held accountable for their inhumane brutality against unarmed peaceful people who were on their own land.
The DAPL protesters are still getting screwed over by corrupt police and politicians, but at least some of the people who were wrongfully assaulted, harassed, and arrested have had their charges dropped.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)