According to The Times, “Protesters said that those arrested in the confrontation had numbers written on their arms and were housed in what appeared to be dog kennels, without bedding or furniture.”
West Dakota Fox television station said that Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier also made the claim in a press conference, saying that protesters were kept in “dog kennels.”
Mekasi Camp-Horinek, who said he was placed in a “mesh enclosure,” said law enforcement wrote a number on his arm, said The Times. Similar accounts also circulated on social media.
In response to the claim, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department released a statement to West Dakota Fox news that said, in part, “Temporary holding cells (chain link fences) have been installed into the Morton County Correctional Center and are used for ‘mass arrest’ situations only. They are temporary until the Correctional Center can get them processed into our facility or transferred to another facility in North Dakota. The temporary housing units have been inspected and approved by the ND Department of Corrections…”
The allegations stem from the clash between Morton County sheriff’s officials and assisting law enforcement and the Water Protectors on October 28. On October 28, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department wrote on Facebook that law enforcement had arrested “141 protesters Thursday near Highway 1806. Officers met violence and resistance including a protester who fired a gun at officers in the police line, protesters who threw molotov cocktails at them and set vehicles and debris on fire.”
The stories emerged after activists were released on October 30. The Guardian said some are claiming that authorities “aggressively detained them, crowded them into vans, wrote numbers on their arms to track them, conducted invasive body searches and showed a lack of respect for native culture.”
Some evoked the Holocaust.
Previously, private security for the pipeline company used dogs against the protesters. There were reports of injuries on both sides.
The Guardian added that law enforcement admitted “using pepper spray, bean-bag and sponge rounds”in the October 28 clash, which was but the latest conflict in months of protests. A peaceful rally was held October 29, the Guardian said.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is worried that the pipeline will negatively impact water quality on its reservation and imperil cultural heritage sites, reports The Dallas Morning News.
The Sioux City Journal reports the Standing Rock tribe “is fighting the installation of the pipeline on their reservation bordering North and South Dakota.” Meanwhile, proponents of the project say it will boost the economy, creating thousands of construction jobs, and law enforcement says the protesters wouldn’t leave private property.
You can read more about the Dakota Access Pipeline here: