Myth vs Fact

  1. Myth: The State of ND cut off the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply.
  2. Myth: The State of ND or law enforcement authorities have blocked or somehow disrupted cell phone service in the protest areas.
  3. Myth: The State of ND forced porta-potty vendors to either remove or cease services to the protest camps, creating unsanitary conditions.
  4. Myth: Dakota Access pipeline protesters at Standing Rock have been sprayed with chemicals by crop duster planes.
  5. Myth: Law enforcement officers deployed concussion grenades resulting in the grievous injury to a protester’s arm.
  6. Myth: Morton County is being paid by Energy Transfer Partners to protect their equipment.
  7. Myth: The ND National Guard deployed an Avenger anti-drone weapon system.
  8. Myth: Law enforcement ran over a protester with a snowmobile.
  9. Myth: Law enforcement has used excessive or militarized force to combat protesters.
  10. Myth: Law enforcement fired water cannons on peaceful protesters.
  11. Myth: Arrestees are forced to remain naked while incarcerated.
  12. Myth: Inmates are undergoing forced “strip searches.”
  13. Myth: Inmates are being held in dog kennels.
  14. Myth: The current pipeline route disturbs sacred sites and is located on tribal lands.
  15. Myth: Thousands of sacred, wild buffalo were rounded up and held in a pen without food or water.
  16. Myth: The people in Bismarck voted to reroute the pipeline from north of town to its current location.
  17. Myth: Law enforcement is illegally blocking a public highway.
  18. Myth: The closure of Highway 1806 adds 40 miles or more to the drive to Mandan.
  19. Myth: Energy Transfer Partners continues to drill even without a permit.
  20. Myth: People who have passed through the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protest camps, should be concerned about their exposure to Rozol (chlorophacinone), a pesticide used for rodent control.
  21. Myth: Rozol is likely the explanation for the “DAPL Cough.”
  22. Readthe EPA directive here: https://yosemite.epa.gov/OA/rhc/EPAAdmin.nsf/Filings/C1E7625EAD6A09A485257FA1001BC0C1/$File/RCRA-08-2016-0003%20AO.pdf
  23. Myth: Law enforcement officials burned tepees and other sacred objects after clearing the "Last Child" camp on February 1, 2017.
  24. Myth: Morton County is dumping trash at the Oceti Sakowin camp and blaming protesters for the mess.

 

1. Myth: The State of North Dakota cut off the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply.

Fact: The state supplied two supplemental water tanks as part of ongoing support for tribal protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but those tanks were removed after they were determined to be at a secondary site outside the state's jurisdiction. Neither the state of North Dakota nor the federal Department of Homeland Security cut off the water supply to protesters or the tribe and the state in fact, has provided aid and support to Native American protesters situated on a legal encampment.

 

2. Myth: The State of North Dakota or law enforcement authorities have blocked or somehow disrupted cell phone service in the protest areas.

Fact: The State of North Dakota and law enforcement officials have not blocked or disrupted cell service in the area. Both entities have no authority to do so. In short, law enforcement is not using this technology, do not own this technology and have no plans to acquire or use it in future. In fact, authorities have worked with Verizon to place a repeater in the area to bolster cell service. The most likely reason for cell disruption is that this is a rural area with spotty cell service in the best of times. Thousands people, all of whom are trying to live stream and post on social media are simply tapping out the resource.

 

3. Myth: The State of North Dakota forced porta-potty vendors to either remove or cease services to the protest camps, creating unsanitary conditions.

Fact: The State of North Dakota has not contacted these vendors to force them to cease services. During the timeframe this rumor arose, The ND Highway Patrol affirmed that no porta-potty vendors came through the traffic control point.

 

4. Myth: Dakota Access pipeline protesters have been sprayed with chemicals, specifically mustard gas, by crop duster planes.

Fact: The State of North Dakota has routinely conducted aerial surveillance of the camps to ensure the safety of protesters. The rationale is to have an understanding of the number of people located in the camps in case mass evacuations are needed because of an emergency, such as wildfires, flooding, or other extreme weather conditions. At the time the rumor started, there were videos posted on social media alleging chemicals being sprayed which depicted law enforcement officers without respiratory gear. Authorities would never spray a crowd with mustard gas or other lethal chemicals, particularly with unprotected law enforcement officers present.

 

5. Myth: Law enforcement officers deployed concussion grenades resulting in the grievous injury to a protester’s arm.

Fact: Law enforcement has at no time used concussion grenades during protest activities. Non-lethal munitions used include: impact sponge rounds, drag stabilizer bean bag rounds, riot control CS (tear gas) canister and water, Taser, and stinger balls, which are small rubber balls and CS gas emitted from the device. It makes a loud noise and emits small rubber balls which are meant to cause people to be startled and therefore disperse. It contains no shrapnel.

 

6. Myth: Morton County is being paid by Energy Transfer Partners to protect the company’s equipment.

Fact: Morton County and the State of North Dakota, through the various involved agencies, is paying for the protest response. Ultimately, the expenses associated with the protests fall squarely on the taxpayers of North Dakota.

 

7. Myth: The ND National Guard deployed an Avenger anti-drone weapon system.

Fact: While the ND National Guard used an Avenger System, the unit was never armed nor do they have the authority to arm the system. National Guard personnel used optic assets included with that system to observe protester activity.

 

8. Myth: Law enforcement ran over a protester with a snowmobile.

Fact: At this time there is no evidence that this incident occurred.

 

9. Myth: Law enforcement has used excessive or militarized force to combat protesters.

Fact: Over the course of the protests, law enforcement personnel have shown great restraint against protesters. In the face of taunts, verbal abuse, threats, gun shots, use of IED, and thrown objects, law enforcement has used force appropriate for the situation to ensure law enforcement remains safe. The real brutality is committed by violent protesters who use improvised explosive devices to attack police, use hacked information to threaten officers and their families, and use weapons to kill livestock, harming farmers and ranchers. We will continue to enforce the law, and urge those lawful protesters to isolate those who are unlawful.

 

10. Myth: Law enforcement fired water cannons on peaceful protesters.

Fact: Water hoses, not cannons were used to keep distance between officers and the criminal agitators, and to put out fires set by the agitators. It is an alternative to less lethal and chemical munitions. Officers are expected to make split-second decisions and the amount of an officer’s time available to evaluate and respond to changing circumstances may impact his/her decisions and safety. While various degrees of force exist, each officer is expected to use only that degree of force which is reasonable under the circumstances to successfully accomplish the legitimate law enforcement purpose in accordance with this policy. The Sheriff’s Department stands behind the commanders who called for the use of the water since they were the ones on scene and assessed the violent threat from protesters and the need to keep our law enforcement safe. Those commanders chose to use water from the fire trucks once protesters were attempting to tow away the remaining burned truck and comments being yelled by protesters included, “We are willing to die for this,” and “We get paid for this.” This led law enforcement to believe the protesters were preparing to overrun the barricade on the north side of the bridge. Because of this threat and that other law enforcement tactics such as tear gas were not effective due to wind conditions, water was the less-than-lethal tool used to hold back protesters.

 

11. Myth: Arrestees are forced to remain naked while incarcerated.

Fact: Inmates are provided with proper clothing after they are booked. In some rare instances, usually when an arrestee is resisting, they initially refuse to wear the provided clothing, resulting in a brief time period during which they are naked. This is not a forced situation.

 

12. Myth: Inmates are undergoing forced “strip searches.”

Fact: Every individual who is arrested goes through an approved process during the booking procedure. This procedure includes a process by which personal effects are bagged and stored and the prisoner changes into institutional clothing. This process includes a visual inspection during which time, law enforcement is looking for contraband. This is what protesters are calling a “strip search.”

 

13. Myth: Inmates are being held in dog kennels.

Fact: Because of the volume of individuals arrested at one time, a solution was devised by which multiple people could safely and humanely be held in an area. Temporary holding cells (chain link fences) have been installed in 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 the facility or transferred to another facility in North Dakota. The temporary housing units have been inspected and approved by the ND Department of Corrections which has oversight over all county correctional centers in ND.  While there they have access to bathroom facilities, meals and drinking water. If any medical situations arise they are addressed by a medical or nursing staff on site. Morton County Correctional Center has room for 42 inmates and during a mass arrest arrangements have been made to transport to other jails.

 

14. Myth: The current pipeline route disturbs sacred sites and is located on tribal lands.

Fact: The current pipeline route has been subjected to numerous historical and archaeological reviews. The reason this particular corridor is used is because it was initially cleared in 1982 for an existing gas pipeline. The DAPL pipeline runs parallel to that pipe. State and federal archaeologists have cleared this corridor for construction. Tribal historians were invited to many reviews about the corridor, but did not participate. In addition, the ND Public Service Commission and the US Army Corps of Engineers has also legally permitted this project. This project is largely located on private property on which landowners have provided easements. The rest is federal Corp’s land. The pipeline is not located on tribal land at all.

 

15. Myth: Thousands of sacred, wild buffalo were rounded up and held in a pen without food or water.

Fact: The buffalo in the area are not wild, nor do they number in the thousands. The buffalo are from a private, domesticated herd and are valuable animals that in no way have been mistreated by their owner. In fact, in contrast, there are numerous reports of protesters wounding and killing livestock in the area. To date, up to 40 head of livestock have been killed or are missing.

 

16. Myth: The people in Bismarck voted to reroute the pipeline from north of town to its current location.

Fact: There is no mechanism in place for local residents to vote for or against a pipeline route. The jurisdiction for this sort of decision lies with the ND Public Service Commission and the US Army Corps of Engineers which have legally permitted this project. Energy Transfer Partners did initially look at a corridor north of Bismarck but opted for the current route because it has existing infrastructure on it and the corridor north of Bismarck would have been 11 miles longer and would have resulted in more water and road crossings.

 

17. Myth: Law enforcement is illegally blocking a public highway.

Fact: Law enforcement, under various authority, have the purview to close public roadways to protect the safety of the motoring public. In this situation, protesters have illegally occupied the public roadway without notice and have created situations that are dangerous to the public and to themselves. Law enforcement, at various times, have created traffic control points to slow traffic to ensure protesters remained safe while on the roadway. The bridge crossing the Cantapeta Creek was only closed after protesters started large fires on the bridge during a protest, possibly impacting the structural integrity of the bridge. The bridge remains closed because weather conditions have prohibited authorities from clearing the bridge and ensuring its safety. On Dec. 22, the Department of Transportation was able to conduct core testing. The bridge was determined to be structurally sound. However, the bridge remains closed for public safety. Since protesters continue to come to the bridge to vandalize and steal government property, law enforcement is left to believe protesters would repeat their unlawful activities from months prior when the roadblock was not there - such as blocking the roadway, vandalizing property, and terrorizing farmers and ranchers. Until there is some law and order introduced into the camp, the bridge needs to remain closed to protect those living and working north of the bridge.

 

18. Myth: The closure of Highway 1806 adds 40 miles or more to the drive to Mandan.

Fact: The route from the camp via Hwy 6 to Main St. in Mandan is not a 40-mile detour. It is only 16 more miles than the route via 1806

 

19. Myth: Energy Transfer Partners continues to drill even without a permit.

Fact: Work on the pipeline proceeded up to the legal limit to do so. The company halted at the site at which the pipeline will be bored underneath Lake Oahe. Energy Transfer Partners has acted legally and within its right to work.

 

Rozol Exposure

In early March 2016, Rozol was applied to areas of the Meyer Ranch, which straddles the border of North and South Dakota, and the Cannonball Ranch in North Dakota. Local citizens first noticed dead animals in areas where the pesticide was misapplied. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Game and Fish Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were notified. The EPA investigated the property in early April. The owner of the ranch agreed immediately to a remediation work plan.

 

20. Myth: People who have passed through the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protest camps, should be concerned about their exposure to Rozol (chlorophacinone), a pesticide used for rodent control.

Fact: There have been no substantiated clinical cases of Rozol poisoning traced back to camp exposure.

 

21. Myth: Rozol is likely the explanation for the “DAPL Cough.”

Fact: Several protestors have reported mild respiratory symptoms. Many have also been living in tents and other non-insulated structure in weather that often reaches below zero temperature. Wood-burning stoves, kerosene heaters, and other temporary forms of heat have been known to cause lung, nose, and eye irritation. An ongoing cough is not consistent with Rozol exposure.

22. Read the EPA Directive here: https://yosemite.epa.gov/OA/rhc/EPAAdmin.nsf/Filings/C1E7625EAD6A09A485257FA1001BC0C1/$File/RCRA-08-2016-0003%20AO.pdf

27. Myth: Law enforcement officials burned tepees and other sacred objects after clearing the "Last Child" camp on February 1, 2017.

Fact: After law enforcement completed the arrest of the trespassers on private property at the location agitators had begun to build a rogue encampment, law enforcement collected all items that were considered to be of evidentiary value for their criminal investigations. Two official representatives of the Standing Rock tribe coordinated with law enforcement and were allowed at the crime scene. Tribal officials were able to recover the tepees and other items that were tribal property, but left the tepee poles. After law enforcement left the scene, representatives of the property owners cleaned up the site and unfortunately, the tepee poles were destroyed. More information: http://gizmodo.com/that-photo-of-police-burning-down-tipis-in-north-dakota-1791910769

28. Myth: Morton County is dumping trash at the Oceti Sakowin camp and blaming protesters for the mess.

Fact: All protester camps are trucking their garbage to one camp location and dumping it there for a consolidated pick-up.