Judge dismisses DAPL protestors' claims of use of force violations

Photo by: Dakota Access Pipeline
Photo by: Dakota Access Pipeline

(Bismarck, ND) -- A lawsuit over five years old tied to the Dakota Access Pipeline has come to an end.

In a statement released by the Morton County State’s Attorney Office, U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor has dismissed all DAPL protestors’ claims of use of force violations carried out by law enforcement on November 20th, 2016.

“Morton County and the other Defendants are pleased with the Court’s dismissal of all of the protestors’ claims against them in this lawsuit involving the DAPL protests,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Gabrielle Goter. “Part of the Court’s ruling was that the level of force applied by law enforcement against the protestors on November 20, 2016 was reasonable under the circumstances confronted by law enforcement.   On the dates of this mass protest event, law enforcement reasonably believed the protestors were trespassing and therefore, law enforcement was permitted to use less lethal force to protect themselves and others, from violent protestors that law enforcement perceived as intending to physically injure responding law enforcement."

The decision comes as the future of the pipeline remains uncertain with several other legal battles pending on permit violations and other issues involving DAPL.