Date: December 5, 2016
Agency: Morton County
Contact: Morton County PIO 701-426-1587 or 701-595-3596
Mandan, ND - Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz responded today to the US Army Corps of Engineers announcement that they will deny the easement required for completion of the DAPL boring under a strip of land adjacent to Lake Oahe. “I don’t understand what took the Corps so long to make this decision. Not one single fact has changed since their September 9th press release. It appears the federal government let the citizens of Morton County, law enforcement officers, and protesters suffer for months while making a political decision that is likely to be overturned when the new administration takes office next month. We still don’t have finality” said Schulz. “It’s really unfortunate that the federal government continues to operate in a fashion that further degrades the public’s confidence in once noble institutions. The citizens of Morton County and the State of North Dakota deserve better.”
During the past three months, County and State leaders have been requesting federal law enforcement resources to deal with issues that are clearly the federal government’s responsibility, but those requests have been largely ignored. “It’s past time for the federal government to send the law enforcement and financial resources required to deal with this situation” said Schulz.
“I believe that a majority of the people who have participated in this protest have been peaceful. But there has been an active minority that has been violent, and it has been a real threat to law enforcement. The hostile actions law enforcement have endured include being shot at, having molotov cocktails, rocks, sticks, bottles, cans, and feces thrown at them, having buffalo stampeded at them, being spit on, and being verbally assaulted” said Schulz. “Given that this announcement is so contrary to Judge Boasberg’s decision and analysis, I fear that it sends the message that if you disagree with a law or policy, you can get your way by shooting at police, throwing explosives at them, starting fires, seizing highways and destroying private property.”