Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Sheriffs ask Trump for federal help with Dakota Access pipeline protesters

When top members of the National Sheriffs’ Association met with President Donald Trump in the White House Tuesday morning, one of their chief requests was for federal assistance dealing with demonstrators at the Dakota Access pipeline site in North Dakota. Protesters have been camped there since April, and local law enforcement feels stymied by the protesters’ ability to retreat to reservations — federal land where police and sheriff’s deputies have no jurisdiction, Sheriff Paul Laney of Cass County, North Dakota, told reporters Tuesday night. Now the Trump Administration has cleared the way for construction to resume on the controversial pipeline, and more conflict with protesters is expected. With the support of other sheriffs from around the country, Laney met with Trump and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to seek help from Customs and Border Patrol agents, U.S. marshals, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as a stronger response from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. “That, we feel, would alleviate a lot of issues,” Laney said. Greg Champagne, sheriff of St. Charles Parish, La., and president of the association, and Carolyn Welsh, sheriff of Chester County, Pa., were among the sheriffs who backed Laney’s request for federal assistance...more

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