Across the country, law enforcement’s credibility is under scrutiny. To regain it, it’s essential that it’s impartial in deed and in public perception.
The state and law enforcement did themselves damage in how they responded to water protectors resisting the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline in 2020-2021. The state approved a plan allowing Enbridge to fund an escrow account to reimburse law enforcement agencies for any Line 3-related costs. Those law enforcement agencies collectively received $8.5 million.
The Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office received nearly half a million dollars from the Enbridge escrow account. It also abused its power to intimidate those at Namewag, a camp set up by Giniw, an Indigenous women-led environmental protection group. At Namewag, they practiced traditional Anishinaabe ways and also actively opposed Line 3.
On June 28, 2021 the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office organized a shock-and-awe law enforcement response to Namewag … because it didn’t have an easement to drive a short stretch of county-owned land, the camp’s only access.
Let that soak in. Look at all the deputies in the photo above, and ask: Does this make sense over an easement infraction?Continue reading