Published December 16, 2016
EAGLE BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA – Cheyenne River Sioux’s Tribal Chairman Harold Fraizer is calling for the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Justice Department to investigate and address the violations of human rights by the State of North Dakota and Dakota Access pipeline mercenaries against the water protectors who are seeking to halt the pipeline.
Chairman Frazier sent a letter to Larry Roberts, Acting Assistant Secretary of U.S. Department of Interior – Indian Affairs and Tracey Toulou, Director, Office of Tribal Justice to address these issues.
Fraizer says on November 20, 2016, water protectors, including members of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe were attacked again. Unarmed people, including Chairman Fraizer, were shot without provocation with rubber bullets, bean bags water cannons, tear gas canisters and concussion grenades.
— CRS Tribe (@Officialcrst1) December 15, 2016
Videos taken by independent journalists corroborate these actions. These abuses are human rights violations as well as violations of criminal law. Governing state and federal laws do not appear to permit a person, even a law enforcement officer, to shoot another person or assault them with a deadly weapon for mere trespass or for lawful protest on public property.
He writes in the letter:
“It is hard for me to put into words how difficult it has been for me, as Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, to watch as members of my Tribe have suffered humiliating and painful abuses, both physical and spiritual, at the hands of North Dakota and DAPL. I am the duly-elected leader of a sovereign nation, entrusted with protecting and providing for my people, and yet there appears to be nothing that I can do when private aggressors and agents of another government assault my people without any legal or moral justification. I have to stand back and watch it happen.”
Chairman Fraizer wants federal law enforcement, especially in the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to honor its duty to take active steps to investigate all of the abuses committed during this DAPL debacle and to include identifying and investigating perpetrators and referring potential defendants for charges to be filed by the appropriate authorities.