|Photo copyright by photographer|
By Camp of the Sacred Stone
CANNON BALL, North Dakota -- Last month, spirit rider Mason Redwing was charged with felony reckless endangerment of law enforcement and a felony count of terrorizing law enforcement after he allegedly rode his horse towards a police line. On Tuesday, Judge Romanick found no probable cause and dismissed all charges against Redwing.
Similarly, Wanikiyewin Loud Hawk, a South Dakota native, was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of government function. The charges were dropped after Judge Romanick once again found no probable cause.
Water protector Red Fawn Fallis was arrested on the frontline last week for allegedly firing a .38-caliber pistol three times. The gun is claimed to have fired as Fallis was pinned to the ground by an officer, as two additional officers held her left arm. She faces charges for attempted murder, and her bond was set at $100,000, the highest yet of this campaign.
Sean Turgeon, also known as Prolific the Rapper, faces two charges of reckless endangerment and one misdemeanor obstruction of government function, after Morton County made allegations the he flew a drone near a North Dakota Highway Patrol aircraft. Turgeon gained national recognition through his music videos that criticize Dakota Access and the violent law enforcement response. He was released on bond on October 31, 2016.
These charges and arrests come after weeks of militarized police response and escalation of violence. Just last week, over 300 police officers fired pepper spray, percussion grenades, and shotguns at largely unarmed DAPL protesters, and a prayer circle of elders was interrupted and all were arrested for their peaceful protest.
Eryn Wise, International Indigenous Youth Council, “Red Fawn is a valued member of our community and a revered friend of the International Indigenous Youth Council. When we heard of the charges, all of us were in disbelief. Red Fawn has continually supported the youth council since its inception and is responsible for personally rescuing many of our members from the front lines after being brutalized by police. She is an extension of our organization and a selfless caretaker, being responsible for many women and elders within her own encampment. We'd like to ask as a council that you stop sharing the mugshot of our sister and instead speak her name. Uplift her in prayer and remember that even our most gentle and devoted warriors are under attack.”
Tara Houska, Honor the Earth, “The contrast between the treatment of indigenous people protecting their water and sacred sites vs. the so-called “Bundy Standoff” of armed white folks taking over a federal building is stark. We have seen elders arrested while praying, teenagers maced, unarmed protectors tased, and horses killed by police. Life altering consequences await us, at the hands of a prosecutor eager to comb the books for felony charges. This isn't justice. America should be in an uproar over what's happening to indigenous people and their allies within U.S. borders. President Obama’s “let it play out over several weeks” isn't an answer. Order a full Environmental Impact Statement and protect the water and sacred sites at issue for the people.”