Date: January 11, 2017
Agency: Morton County Sheriff's Department
Contact: Morton County PIO (701) 426-1587 or (701) 595-3596
MANDAN, ND – Today, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department releases a series of video clips of recent unlawful protestor activity. Criminal trespass, theft and vandalism by protestors continues to show a disregard for efforts to deescalate conflict.
12/27/16: When protesters went onto the Backwater Bridge, a few crossed over the barricade and damaged light towers. In addition, five protestors climbed to the top of Turtle Hill and were arrested for trespass.
Protesters stole and fled with the Department of Transportation’s “No Trespassing” sign from the barricade area on the Backwater Bridge.
12/29/16: Protesters cut the light tower cables, causing the tower to fall, and a state surveillance camera was stolen from the tower pole. There were small groups of protestors trespassing on the bridge most of the afternoon, and also near Turtle Hill. These groups tampered with and cut some of the security wire at the bridge and on Turtle Hill.
1/1/17: A group of protesters cut and removed a section of the security wire at the top of Turtle Hill and tampered with a lighting unit at the top of the hill. Protesters also damaged some of the security wire on the Backwater Bridge barricade. Protesters flashed a green laser at the ND Highway Patrol plane flying over the area.
1/6/17: Protestors gathered at the Backwater Bridge and removed the security wire from the barricade on the north end of the bridge. Law enforcement responded and the protestors disregarded orders to leave the bridge. The officers eventually withdrew a short distance and observed the protestors. The protestors continued to remove the security wire at the barricade and a few went to the north side of the barricade and yelled at the officers. During this incident, the ND Highway Patrol plane was targeted by laser and spotlight from the protest camp.