In a show of compassion today (December 2), #NoDAPL water protectors donated supplies that had been requested by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, according to the Indigenous Environmental Network. This is the same department responsible for using non-lethal weapons like pepper spray and batons on those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The sheriff’s office tweeted an image of donations which they received from the International Indigenous Youth Council, a group that formed out of the #NoDAPL resistance. The Council donated batteries, snacks, bottled water, socks and cough drops, among other items.
TY to the International Indigenous Youth Council for the gifts of supplies & snacks. Your kindness & support is very much appreciated! pic.twitter.com/8YpoKKAzCo
— MortonCountySheriff (@MortonCountySD) December 2, 2016
The department began requesting donations on Thanksgiving when it posted a thank you note to those who had supported its officers. The post was deleted from its Facebook page not long after.
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) November 25, 2016
In echoing the department’s call, local radio station KFYR posted a list to its Facebook page November 22 calling for paper plates, snacks, soda, warm clothes for the winter and “thoughts and prayers for officer safety.” It also posted a list for the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department, but the county department commented on the post to clarify that it is not requesting these items.
Policing the camps where water protectors are stationed has been expensive for the county. The cost for accommodating officers who have come from neighboring states to aid their efforts has been upwards of $4.4 million, reports the National Association of Counties.
The Duluth News Tribune reported that the state cost for policing totals more than $11.8 million. That doesn’t include the $7 million the Department of Emergency Services requested November 30 from the Bank of North Dakota and the $10 million the North Dakota Emergency Commission loaned to the emergency department earlier this year. This has left the state and county strapped for cash—hence the officers’ call for donations.
In a press release sent to Colorlines, the Indigenous Environmental Network wrote:
North Dakota taxpayers have already bankrolled the Morton County Sheriff Department with approximately 10 million dollars for the suppression of peaceful water protectors. Despite this excessive financial support, Morton County officers are asking taxpayers to donate supplies.