January 23, 2017
WPLC cooperating attorneys filed new papers in our excessive force lawsuit today.
Dundon v. Kirchmeier was filed on November 28 in US District Court against Morton County, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, and other law enforcement agencies for using excessive force against peaceful Water Protectors on the night of November 20, 2016.
The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction against further use of dangerous devices including SIM, explosive teargas grenades and canisters, water cannons and hoses, as a means of crowd dispersal. The government opposed this request, and today’s papers are our response.
Among the new documents filed is a declaration by Thomas C. Frazier, a former Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department who has also conducted independent investigations into law enforcement response to demonstrations in Ferguson, MO as well as having been involved in overseeing court supervision of three major city police departments. He confirmed that law enforcement’s characterization of the Water Protector’s actions that night as a riot is is overstated and inaccurate and that deployment of these so-called “less lethal” weapons in fact constituted an unnecessary and inappropriate use of force by law enforcement.
The Water Protector Legal Collective has been providing legal representation and coordination for Water Protectors engaged in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline including coordinating civil rights litigation