In 2016, North Dakota cops got unusually rough with American Indians protesting construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline across the Missouri River, putting lives at risk to protect corporate petro-plunder. Rubber bullets, water cannons in below-freezing temperatures… all “objectively reasonable” police responses, says a judge appointed by Donald Trump as he rules in favor of those war-making cops and dismisses a lawsuit brought by Native protestors injured by police on the night of November 20, 2016:
U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor issued the order granting their request Wednesday, writing that “the Court finds the undisputed and irrefutable evidence in this case could only lead a reasonable juror to conclude the officers’ conduct in this case was objectively reasonable.”
He called the situation that night “unprecedented.”
“The most telling of the entire situation is the fact that officers issued two code red requests and a Signal 100, requesting the assistance of every available officer in the state,” Traynor wrote. “This has never been done in North Dakota history” [Amy R. Sisk, “Judge Sides with Law Enforcement in DAPL Protest Suit Alleging Excessive Use of Force,” Bismarck Tribune, 2021.12.30].
Here south of the border, Kristi Noem never needed an anti-protest law to protect her Big Oil friends from citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. She just needed her big friend Donnie to appoint enough judges to keep the door open for the militarized police state to march all over anyone—especially folks of darker complexions—who dares march against the corporate order.