Presidential candidate Stein charged with misdemeanor crimes in North Dakota

Police in Morton County, N.D., have filed charges against Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein over her alleged vandalism of construction equipment at the Dakota Access Pipeline site on Tuesday.

The protests erupted over concerns the drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe could be contaminated and sacred lands infringed upon by the laying of oil pipe planned to reach Illinois.

A Sunday injunction filed by the tribe seeking to temporarily halt the action was granted on Wednesday.

An arrest warrant was issued for Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, on Wednesday afternoon; both are charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, protesters gathered at the scene of the pipeline’s construction on Tuesday morning when Stein arrived. As the crowd swelled to over 200, several protesters chained themselves to construction equipment and Stein is alleged to have spray painted graffiti on a bulldozer.

The protests follow a Saturday demonstration which witnessed over 300 picketers enter the construction grounds and confront security guards.  One guard was reportedly injured.

“We are actively investigating these incidents, either by video or social media to identify people that have taken place in this.  We will pursue charges as needed,” Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier told reporters. 

The misdemeanor charges carry a sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

 

[Bismarck Tribune] [RT News] [Photo courtesy AP via New York Post]