Standing Rock Indigenous Water Protector Sues North Dakota Police for Abuse of Civil Rights
By Lauren Regan, CLDC
April 8, 2020
Case Joins Several Other Standing Rock Cases Currently Stalled Pending Court Rulings on Defense Motions to Dismiss
EUGENE, Oregon — Today, CLDC attorneys representing Comanche Water Protector and videographer Eric Poemoceah filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the North Dakota federal court against defendants Morton County, North Dakota; Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier; (then) Sheriff Paul Laney; Tom Iverson (formerly lieutenant, now captain with N.D. Highway Patrol); and Bismarck police officer Benjamin Swenson.
Mr. Poemoceah was at Standing Rock in 2017 to support the peaceful opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), led by the Oceti Šakowiŋ (the Seven Council Fires, or Great Sioux Nation). The DAPL pipeline, also known as the Black Snake, was recently found to be illegal by the federal courts. At all times, Mr. Poemoceah remained peaceful and non-violent in his opposition to the pipeline, often livestreaming the Indigenous-led movement to thousands of online supporters.