How Many Police Are Needed to Subdue a Peaceful Protest?
November 26, 2016
Thomas Dresslar / ACLU & Steve Horn / DeSmog Blog & The Huffington Post
Almost exactly 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill -- the Emergency Management Assistance Compact -- creating an interstate agreement for emergency management. That law has opened the door for the current flood of out-of-state law enforcement agents repressing the continuing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. As of November 7, the assault against the Native protests had engaged law enforcement personnel from from 24 counties, 16 cities and 9 states.
Police mace protesters during a demonstration against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock
ACTION ALERT: Demilitatize Standing Rock
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How Many Law Enforcement Agencies
Does It Take to Subdue a Peaceful Protest?
Thomas Dresslar, Media Relations Associate / ACLU
(November 22, 2016) -- Earlier this month, the Morton County Sheriff's Department briefed the public via Facebook on the scope of law enforcement presence that was helping confront protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock.
The help was made possible by a bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton about 20 years ago, which created an interstate agreement for emergency management. The agreement helped bring law enforcement agents to North Dakota to the site of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The protests at Standing Rock, and the Black Lives Matter protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, represent some of the only times the compact has been invoked outside of a natural disaster. [See story below.]
The ACLU assembled the names of law enforcement agencies below from the Morton County Sheriff's Department and from media accounts. The Morton County Sheriff's Department confirmed the cities and counties in North Dakota that sent officers as well as the 10 states that contributed, and where there was a news story about a particular force, we included a hyperlink.
Where there was mention of the number of officers deployed, we noted that as a minimum -- though more may have been deployed later.
Morton County Sheriff's Department
November 7 at 4:40pm:
Morton Country has received assistance from 24 counties, 16 cities and 9 states. In total nearly 1,300 people have assisted Morton County in responding to the protest over the Dakota Access Pipeline since August 10, 2016.
1. North Dakota Highway Patrol
2. North Dakota National Guard
3. North Dakota Parks & Recreation
4. North Dakota Department of Emergency Services
5. North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: Parole and Probation
6. Beulah Police Department
7. City of Bismarck Police Department
8. Dickinson City
9. City of Fargo Police Department (50 officers)
10. Hazen City
11. Jamestown City
12. City of Mandan Police Department
13. Minot City
14. Steele PD
15. Grand Forks City
16. Williston City
17. Rolla City
18. West Fargo City
19. Wishek City
20. Watford City
21. Grafton City
22. Burleigh County Sheriff's Department
23. Cass County Sheriff's Department
24. Pennington County Sheriff's Department (12 officers)
25. Dunn County
26. Emmons County
27. McKenzie County
28. McLean County
29. Mercer County Sheriff's Department
30. Morton County
31. Stark County
32. Stutsman County
33. Ward County
34. Williams County Sheriff's Department
35. Grand Forks County
36. Divide County
37. Kidder County
38. Grant County
39. Bowman County
40. Benson County
41. Burke County
42. McIntosh County
43. Barnes County
44. Bottineau County
45. Logan County
46. Trail County
47. St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Department
48. Montana Highway Patrol (at least 10 officers)
49. Wisconsin State Patrol (at least 17 officers)
50. Dane County Sheriff's Department (at least 10 officers)
51. Dane County Special Events Team (at least 3 supervisors)
52. St. Croix County Sheriff's Department (at least 4 officers)
53. Rock County Sheriff's Department (at least 5 officers)
54. Marathon County Sheriff's Department (at least 4 officers)
55. Hennepin County Sheriff's Department (at least 29 personnel)
56. Anoka County Sheriff's Department (at least 6 personnel)
57. Washington County Sheriff's Department (at least 5 personnel)
58. South Dakota Highway Patrol
59. Wyoming Highway Patrol (at least 6 officers)
60. Laramie County Sheriff's Department
61. Nebraska State Patrol (at least 11 officers)
62. Lake County Sheriff's Department
63. Schererville Police Department
64. Hammond Police Department
65. Griffith Police Department
66. Michigan City Police Department
67. Munster Police Department
68. Indiana Department of Natural Resources
69. Marion County Sheriff's Department
70. Brookville Police Department
71. Porter County
72. LaPorte County
73. Jasper County
74. Newton County
75. Ohio State Highway Patrol (at least 37 officers)
This Natural Disaster Assistance Law Is Why
Other States Are Policing Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
Steve Horn / DeSmog Blog & The Huffington Post
(October 31, 2016) -- Almost exactly 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill creating an interstate agreement for emergency management. That inconspicuous law has opened the door for the current flood of out-of-state law enforcement agents present at the continuing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) authorized states to enter into agreements with other states in order to share emergency management–related personnel during crisis situations. One of the only other times this compact was deployed outside of a natural disaster was for the Black Lives Matter protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray.
DeSmog reviews the use of this controversial authorization below. News is just breaking now that police are removing protesters at the site right now.
According to a history of EMAC published in September 2014, the compact centers around empowering states to respond to massive hurricanes, and in particular, Hurricane Andrew, which caused nearly $25 billion in damages when it hit Florida and Louisiana in 1992.
"Passage of EMAC in Congress was a relatively smooth process," reads the history of EMAC. "It was mainly a matter of obtaining sponsors and getting EMAC on the congressional calendar. Introduction of the bill occurred soon enough after Hurricane Andrew that memories of the hurricane's destruction still lingered."
More recently, states used EMAC to work together during both Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
All 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, participate in EMAC. With language mostly centering around natural disaster relief, the congressional joint resolution creating EMAC also notes it exists to help manage things like "community disorders, insurgency, or [an] enemy attack."
State of Emergency
On August 19, North Dakota Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple declared a state of emergency surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, which triggered the ability of other states to offer help in North Dakota as part of EMAC.
"The State of North Dakota remains committed to protecting citizens' rights to lawfully assemble and protest, but the unfortunate fact remains that unlawful acts associated with the protest near Cannon Ball have led to serious public safety concerns and property damage," Dalrymple said in the press release announcing the emergency order.
"This emergency declaration simply allows us to bring greater resources to bear if needed to help local officials address any further public safety concerns."
States which have recently deployed personnel to North Dakota include Wisconsin, Indiana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Nebraska, according to an October 23 press release from the Morton County Sheriff's Department.
Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management spokesperson Lori Getter told DeSmog that "under any EMAC request, agencies are asked if they are able to assist. In this case, the request came to the state of Wisconsin and we sent out a request to law enforcement to see who could support this mission. It is strictly voluntary by each department. Those departments responded and agreed to send officers."
Getter said that officers from seven different law enforcement and public safety agencies throughout Wisconsin have gone to North Dakota. She said that a total of 57 law enforcement officers were deployed so far, while 13 officers still remain but plan to return to Wisconsin on October 30.
A public information officer for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security said that nine different agencies have sent officers to North Dakota. ABC news affiliate RTV6 in Indianapolis reported that 37 officers have been sent to North Dakota from the Hoosier State. According to the Omaha World-Herald, 11 state troopers from Nebraska have been sent to North Dakota.
A common question is who is paying for these officers to police protests in another state?
During the April 2015 BLM protests in Baltimore, Pennsylvania sent in 300 state troopers and New Jersey sent in 150 more in an attempt to manage the volatile situation that erupted after a young black man's death while in police custody. In that case, Maryland compensated the Pennsylvania officers for their time and effort, which according to Getter, is also the case with North Dakota.
A police officer from Indiana reiterated this in a story published by The Times of Northwest Indiana, noting that the reimbursement "includes all wages, overtime and cost of benefits to the officers, meals while the officers are on duty, a per diem while they are off duty, lodging for the officers during their time of stay and mileage reimbursement for the communities who sent vehicles."
Authorized by EMAC, out-of-state officers have arrived in North Dakota at a time of increasing tension, arrests, and strip searches at the Standing Rock Camp, where the largely Native American protesters are based.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a no-fly zone within a 4-mile radius of the Standing Rock Camp and 3,500 feet between the air and ground.
However, those flight restrictions do not apply to law enforcement, according to a FAA-designated spokesperson in North Dakota, which means protesters are no longer permitted to fly drones to monitor law enforcement behavior.
"Protesters continue to escalate unlawful tactics endangering officers and residents," said the Morton County Sheriff's Department in an October 23 Facebook posting, which served as a prelude to the no-fly zone announcement.
"Sunday protesters attacked a helicopter with a drone, fired arrows at a helicopter, established an illegal road block on highway 1806 and illegally occupied private property moving in tents and teepee's to a DAPL construction site."
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have submitted multiple open records requests in the attempt to lift the curtain on state- and federal-level law enforcement techniques used at Standing Rock.
"In an affront to First Amendment rights, Water Protectors and allies have been continuously surveiled by low-flying planes, helicopters, and drones, and have had local cell phone communications jammed and possibly recorded," reads an NLG press release announcing the filing of the requests. "Dozens of local and out-of-state law enforcement have been called in, maintaining a heavily militarized presence at the site in an effort to intimidate activists and chill dissent."
The Associated Press reports that law enforcement are attempting to remove protesters who have encamped in teepees and tents situated on Dakota Access LLC's land.
Ironically, given the implementation of EMAC and out-of-state cops pouring into North Dakota, the Morton County Sheriff's Department released a graphic pointing to arrests of those from out of state.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.