EXCESSIVE FORCE

DAPL Protesters File Police Brutality Lawsuit

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Police use a water cannon on protesters during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline filed an excessive force lawsuit against law enforcement on Monday, after police actions left multiple protesters injured November 20. The class action suit filed in a North Dakota district court accuses law enforcement of using weapons "such as rubber bullets and lead-filled 'beanbags,' water cannons and hoses, explosive teargas grenades and other chemical agents against protesters." The suit names nine victims of alleged police brutality on the night of November 20. The victims, four of whom are Native American, say they were peacefully protesting when police turned weapons like grenades and water cannons on them, seriously injuring some. The plaintiffs seek an injuction preventing law enforcement from using these non-lethal weapons against protesters.

The protesters are attempting to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will lay oil pipelines under a river that is a primary source of water for some Native American communities. While protesters have camped at Standing Rock Native American Reservation for months, the U.S. Army Corps announced that the encampment would be cleared December 5.