Green Party presidential candidate, running mate charged in pipeline incident
MANDAN, N.D. - Morton County authorities issued warrants Wednesday for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate after video showed them spray painting graffiti on a bulldozer as they joined protesters at a Dakota Access ...
MANDAN, N.D. – Morton County authorities issued warrants Wednesday for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate after video showed them spray painting graffiti on a bulldozer as they joined protesters at a Dakota Access Pipeline site Tuesday.
The Morton County State’s Attorney’s Office filed criminal complaints against Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka for criminal trespass and criminal mischief. Both charges are Class B misdemeanors punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.
The Morton County Sheriff’s Department said warrants were issued for both suspects. Authorities were alerted to video that showed Stein painting “I approve this message” on the front of a bulldozer and Baraka painting the last word in the message “We need decolonization,” according to the statement.
Stein’s campaign emailed a statement to Forum News Service at about the same time Wednesday afternoon acknowledging that she spray-painted the message on the bulldozer, saying it was one of the same bulldozers used to destroy what the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says were sacred burial sites in the pipeline route west of Highway 1806 on Saturday, which led to a clash between protesters and private security guards armed with pepper spray and guard dogs.
“I hope the North Dakota authorities press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation: the bulldozing of sacred burial sites and the unleashing of vicious attack dogs,” Stein said. “I hope they take action against the Dakota Access Pipeline company that is endangering drinking water not only for the Standing Rock Sioux, but for millions of people downstream of the reservation who depend on the Missouri River.”
About 200 people protested at the construction site two miles east of State Highway 6 about 20 miles south of Mandan, and two protesters bound their hands to bulldozers for several hours. Law enforcement officers were present but kept their distance and didn’t intervene. No arrests were made, but the sheriff’s department said it’s “actively investigating all unlawful acts” associated with the protests.