CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the protests at the Dakota Access oil pipeline construction site (all times local):
Authorities have updated to 141 the number of people arrested when law enforcement officers evicted protesters from private property in the path of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Donnell Hushka, a spokeswoman for the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, says most of the protesters were arrested for conspiracy to endanger by fire or explosion, engaging in a riot and maintaining a public nuisance.
The nearly six-hour operation to evict the protesters began at 11:15 a.m. Thursday.
Hushka says protesters started numerous fires during the course of the day, including setting three pieces of construction equipment on fire.
A months-long protest over the Dakota Access oil pipeline reached its most chaotic pitch yet when hundreds of law enforcement officers moved in to force activists off private property.
Thursday’s nearly six-hour operation dramatically escalated the dispute over Native American rights and the project’s environmental impact, with officers in riot gear firing bean bags and pepper spray.
At least 117 people were arrested, and no serious injuries were reported.
State Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong says that among those arrested was a woman who pulled out a .38-caliber pistol and fired three times at officers, narrowly missing a sheriff’s deputy. She says officers did not return fire.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says the camp was cleared by nightfall.