Jamestown, ND – Emails obtained by Unicorn Riot through a public records request to the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (ND DOCR) raise questions about the deployment of personnel from various state agencies to protect the Dakota Access Pipeline from the water protectors who have been staging direct actions for months.
In September of this year, April Anderson of the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Department sent out an email with the subject “Time sheets” explaining the paperwork for law enforcement logging overtime hours after working #NoDAPL protests. (The Stutsman County Sheriff also loans out the MRAP armored vehicle, often seen in use by SWAT officers near DAPL sites).
In response to April Anderson, a man named Tyler J. Falk wrote in an email:
“I’ll ultimately be paid by the oil people dealing with the protests. I’m guessing when all of that is finally over and the dust settles, the oil company is going to want all the paperwork for reimbursement. I figured I should have some formal form instead of writing hours on a napkin (smiley face). Thanks.” – Tyler Falk
The “oil company” Falk refers to would appear to be Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) or its subsidiary, Dakota Access, LLC. While no direct evidence of ETP or DAPL financing police has yet emerged, this email sent by Falk shows that some North Dakota law enforcement personnel think of themselves as working on the pipeline company’s behalf.
Tyler Falk is listed in an ND DOCR quarterly newsletter from 2007 (PDF) as Assistant Team Leader, DOCR Prisons Division. DOCR newsletters from earlier years demonstrate Falk’s background in tactical operations, crowd control and the use of less-lethal weaponry.
A 2013 briefing from a North Dakota State Supreme Court case identifies Falk as a probation officer working in Jamestown, ND (where the Stutsman County Sheriff is headquartered).
When asked whether Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) or Dakota Access, LLC has offered to provide funding for law enforcement responses to pipeline protests, Cecily Fong, Public Information Officer for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, wrote:
“ETP has not provided funding to any law enforcement agency or state agencies. They do, from time to time, allow a law enforcement officer to fly in their surveillance helicopter along with the pilot.” – Cecily Fong, PIO NDDES
(DeSmogBlog recently published an in-depth report about how Dakota Access was able to fly a helicopter over the pipeline area during the no-fly zone)
When shown the specific email in question sent by Tyler Falk, Fong replied:
“My guess is this is wishful thinking. I know of no mechanism through which we would be reimbursed by the pipeline company.” – Cecily Fong, PIO NDDES
Tyler Falk’s “wishful thinking” about being being “paid by the oil people” appears to have been validated earlier this month, when Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelsy Warren told CBS that his company has offered to cover law enforcement costs incurred while policing #NoDAPL water protectors. The CBS news segment shown below ends with the reporter saying
“Warren told us the company wants to reimburse the state of North Dakota and Morton County for millions spent so far for protests and security, but that authorities have not yet accepted his offer.” – CBS reporter Mark Alpert
Both North Dakota and the Morton County Sheriff denied receiving any offer of payment from Energy Transfer Partners in statements made to ValleyNewsLive.
Unicorn Riot will continue to regularly provide direct updates about resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Follow our media on Twitter, Facebook, and our website for more information surrounding the ongoing struggles against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
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Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle #NoDAPL from early summer 2016 to present:
March – May 2016
- March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.
- April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“.
- May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“.
- May 27th, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“.
- After covering the camp in the spring of 2016, Unicorn Riot returned to Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- On August 31st, Non-Violent Direct Action Stopped DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- September 6, indigenous water protectors swarmed Dakota Access Pipeline site, stopped work
- September 7, Uŋpa Nuŋpa was interviewed about ongoing #noDAPL actions
- North Dakota highway patrol refused to release email correspondence with Energy Transfer Partners
- September 8, ND National Guard took over Dakota Access Pipeline checkpoints
- Friday, September 9, US Govt. overruled federal judge and requested pipeline construction halted at Lake Oahe
- Meanwhile, cultural activities continued at #NoDAPL camps despite more arrests/warrants
- September 13, 20 were arrested during #NoDAPL lockdown, including 2 Unicorn Riot journalists
- September 14, direct actions continued against Dakota Access Pipeline while legal repression intensified
- On September 16 a federal judge dissolved the unconstitutional temporary restraining order Dakota Access, LLC had filed against Stranding Rock tribal members
- September 19, as solidarity protests spread nationwide, the federal appeals court ordered construction temporarily stop on Dakota Access segment as Solidarity Protests Spread Nationwide
- September 21, #NoDAPL noise demo demanded freedom for jailed water protector Olowan Martinez
- September 22, water protectors disrupted the annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council
- September 25, water protectors planted trees on DAPL construction site
- In Iowa on September 26, a non-violent direct action from the Mississippi Stand camp stopped DAPL construction for the day
- September 26, a caravan of water protectors stopped work at DAPL site
- September 27, militarized police arrested 23 water protectors in DAPL work stoppage
- September 29, a #NoDAPL solidarity action took place at MN Enbridge office
- October 3rd-4th saw the “Toxic Tour,” Governor debate disruption, and water protectors attend their court arraignment
- October 4, we learned North Dakota Governor Dalrymple’s email inbox was full of support for #NoDAPL
- October 5, Buffer Zone Holds as Caravans Continue to Disrupt DAPL – New Felony Charges
- October 7, 6 Arrested in Iowa #NoDAPL Action, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 8, Iowa Water Protectors Blockade DAPL Drill Site Twice in 24 Hours
- October 9, Federal Appeals Court Rules to Allow DAPL Construction
- October 10, 27 Arrests After Water Protectors Pray at DAPL Site on Indigenous People’s Day
- October 12, Lockdown Stops DAPL Construction in Iowa, 3 Arrested, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 14, Emails Show North Dakota Budget Bureaucracy Behind #NoDAPL Policing
- October 16, Direct Actions Continue to Stop DAPL Construction in Iowa and North Dakota
- October 17, Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges For Covering #NoDAPL
- October 17, Water Protectors Blockade Highway in Bismarck, Some Charges Dropped
- October 20, As DAPL Construction Advances, Water Protectors Continue Direct Action
- October 22, Water Protectors’ Prayer Walk Ends up with 127 Arrests, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 23, Law Enforcement Attack Private Drone as Water Protectors Erect Blockade & New Winter Camp
- October 24, Mississippi Stand Blockades Iowa DAPL Drill Waste Site, Drilling Stops
- October 25, Records Release: Morton County’s Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Assistance Agreement
- Hundreds Flood Minneapolis City Hall to Demand Local Sheriff Withdraw from North Dakota
- October 26, Tensions Rise as Pipeline Construction Nears #NoDAPL Blockade
- October 27, Police and Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp
- November 1, #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally & Sit-In in Minneapolis Prods Sheriff into Removing Deputies
- November 1, DAPL Resistance Continues Despite Advancing Construction
- November 2, Police Attack Water Protectors Defending Sacred Sites
- November 5, DAPL Construction Nears US Army Corps Land While Still Lacking Permits
- November 6, Water Protectors Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site, Demonstrate in Cemetery
- November 8, Dakota Access Announces Plan to Drill Under Missouri River Within Weeks
- November 11, Dakota Access Pipeline Work Stopped As Water Protectors Storm Site; 30+ Arrested
- November 14, #NoDAPL Water Protectors March on ND State Capitol after Caravan Disrupts Construction
- November 14, Mississippi Stand Goes Inside Pipeline and Shuts Down DAPL Construction
- November 14, Army Corps Delays DAPL Easement
- November 15, Water Protectors Blockade DAPL Man Camp, 20+ Arrests