On Thursday, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem sued the United States government for $38 million in funds to recoup the taxpayer money the state poured into policing Indigenous protesters over the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline. If only the state hadn’t wasted its money giving the construction companies all that free protection.
According to the Billings Gazette, the lawsuit is the second attempt by Stenehjem to have the feds foot the bill. The Gazette reported Stenehjem argued in an administrative request filed in July that the Army Corps of Engineers was responsible for allowing the protestors onto (stolen) federal land, and thus the federal government is responsible for footing the bill the state’s local police forces racked up. (It is extremely important to remember that the Department of Justice already gave North Dakota a $10 million grant, in addition to the much more suspect, damning $15 million the state was paid by—wait for it—pipeline developer Energy Transfer.)
If you can get through it without cracking up, I encourage you to read the argument—offered by a white man, claiming that “dangerous” Native people trespassed on American land—that is supposedly going to convince the federal government to hand over $38 million.
“Those organized protests, launched from large makeshift encampments illegally located on federal lands, involved frequent outbreaks of dangerous, unsanitary, and sometimes life-threatening activities,” Stenehjam wrote, per the Gazette.
As another one of my colleagues already pointed out: Who, exactly, told you to fight the protestors in the first place, North Dakota?