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Sheriff Downplays Possibility Of Confrontation As Veterans Swarm Into The ...

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By Reuters

MANDAN, NORTH DAKOTA, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) MORTON COUNTY SHERIFF KYLE KIRCHMEIER LETTING PERSON INTO BUILDING SHERIFF KIRCHMEIER SPEAKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) MORTON COUNTY SHERIFF KYLE KIRCHMEIER SAYING: "Well, it's a concern, but I still maintain that if this is supposed to be peaceful, there absolutely will be no issues with it. I know there are a large group of individuals that are and want to maintain peace, but there are definitely agitators that are inside this group and want to cause problems and actually want to cause a confrontation between law enforcement and the protesters that are out there. But, that solves nothing. It doesn't get to the root of the problem and it sure doesn't stop the pipeline from going in the ground. There's a bigger issue here that cannot be solved standing out on the prairie." INSIGNIA ON SHIRT (SOUNDBITE) (English) MORTON COUNTY SHERIFF KYLE KIRCHMEIER SAYING: "Well, I hope not. The offer's out there for the protesters that they can come down to the bridge and do their protests that's peaceful and lawful and law enforcement, as long as that continues, law enforcement will back off during that time and we will give them space to do this and have their voice heard. But, that doesn't mean trespassing on the bridge or tearing down barricades or being aggressive or doing anything towards law enforcement. We are not the aggressors here. We're here making sure that law is being maintained and if they do anything towards law enforcement, that's on them." SHERIFF KIRCHMEIER SPEAKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) MORTON COUNTY SHERIFF KYLE KIRCHMEIER SAYING: "The biggest thing is the crowd control, but if they really claim, and I've heard this over and over: 'this is a peaceful and prayerful'; well, if this is peaceful and prayerful then there will be no confrontation with law enforcement at all." MORE OF SHERIFF KIRCHMEIER SPEAKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) MORTON COUNTY SHERIFF KYLE KIRCHMEIER SAYING: "Well, that's what I'm trying to figure out what that is, but like I said before this is much deeper than just putting the pipeline in the ground. There is no work going on right now. You know, the drill site is there, but nothing is happening until this easement is going on. So, right now all these protests are taking place and nothing is happening. So, the biggest thing is you got to get to the root of the issue and I can't solve that problem. The county can't solve that problem. The state of North Dakota cannot solve that problem. It is a federal issue and the federal government needs to get involved because this wraps around treaties and a pipeline that goes through multiple states. This is not a Morton County issue, but we have been put in the middle of this and been made an agenda for everybody coming here, but this is much bigger than that and we are not going to be able to solve it without the federal government's assistance." MORE OF SHERIFF KIRCHMEIER SPEAKING TO REPORTERS EXTERIOR OF MORTON COUNTY/MANDAN POLICE BUILDING
Dateline: 2016

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