Dakota pipeline protest crackdown: Was the use of force necessary?

Police arrested 141 people for trespassing Thursday in an attempt to break up a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota that eventually turned violent on both sides.

Police officers in SWAT trucks and riot gear arrived early in the day to demand the protesters remove a blockade they had set up on Highway 1806, eventually using pepper spray and rubber bullets against the protesters. Protesters stood their ground on horseback, and it took six hours to push the protesters back to their main encampment. Two protesters fired guns, although no one was injured.

“Protesters attempted to breach the police line and did not follow the officers’ instructions,” Donnell Hushka, the public information officer for the Morton County Sheriff’s Office, told ABC News. “Officers did utilize pepper spray, to protect police officers. There are no issues if they want to protest peacefully and legally, but on numerous occasions they have engaged in illegal action by trespassing on private property.” READ MORE.

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