Flimsy threat assessments issued by North Dakota fusion center regarding the Standing Rock protests reinforce much of the criticsim that’s been leveled against fusions over the last decade and a half: namely, that fusion centers are not very good at their job, do not produce intelligence which is actionable or particularly useful, and are instead used to gain intelligence about activist groups, and members of the public who are not a crime risk, violating their civil liberties for basically no reason at all.
DAPL threat assessment paints nonviolent Standing Rock protestors as unruly mob, defends use of attack dogs as “protection”
A threat assessment by a local fusion center on the Standing Rock protests recently released to MuckRock presents a lopsided view of the conflict, with guards and law enforcement subject to unfair treatment on social media for their use of dogs as “protection,” and retaliatory public shaming for racist Facebook posts about Native Americans.
Behind the scenes, as law enforcement officials tried to stem protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, alumni from the George W. Bush White House were leading a crisis communications effort to discredit pipeline protesters. This revelation comes from documents obtained via an open records request from the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department in Wyoming.
Thanks to a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, I had the privilege of visiting both North and South Dakota and speak with witnesses and victims of the widespread police violence that occurred on the north border of the Standing Rock Reservation. There will be plenty of follow-up in the weeks to come, but while the memory’s still fresh, I wanted to share an initial reflection from traveling to the treaty lands of the Dakotas.
With help from a grant by the Fund for Investigative Journalism, MuckRock’s Curtis Waltman will have the opportunity to travel to both North and South Dakota beginning this Friday, to speak with victims of this police violence and hear their stories, gather a more complete picture of the tactics used against them, and learn about the aftermath of what this trauma wrought.
Melissa Hill sent this request to the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence & Analysis of the United States of America