Journalist Charged With Stalking For Filming Dakota Access Pipeline

Oil Pipeline
Protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline leave their main protest camp near Cannon Ball, N.D. Feb. 28, 2017. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune)


07 July 2017 |  | MintPress News/ Shadowproof

An indigenous journalist known for his work covering the Standing Rock camps and other Native American-led resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) faces a trial on July 12 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Myron Dewey was accused by Shannon Eagon, the wife of Doug Eagon, a member of the National Guard, of “stalking.” If convicted of the class A misdemeanor, he faces up to one year in prison and a possible $3,000 fine.

The complaint [PDF], approved by Assistant State’s Attorney Gabrielle Goter, alleges on October 8, 2016, Dewey “harassed, frightened, and/or intimidated security workers on a job site.” It further suggests he targeted “their vehicles, license plates, and/or where they were working, which made them fear for their lives and their families’ lives.”

On October 8, police pulled Dewey over and seized a drone, which he used to document how close the pipeline was getting to water sources and sacred indigenous land. One officer claimed it was used in a crime Dewey was involved in earlier that day. He was subsequently charged and turned himself in to the Morton County Police Department on October 14, when “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman was also facing charges levied against her for journalism.

Dewey is Newe-Numah/Paiute-Shoshone from the Walker River Paiute Tribe, Agui Diccutta Band (Trout Eaters) and Temoke Shoshone. He founded Digital Smoke Signals, which was created to “indigenize” media through indigenous voices that could produce representations of their cultural core values.

He recently produced the third part of a feature documentary, “Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock,” to get the perspective of water protectors out to a wide audience. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Multiple recorded Facebook videos, streamed live and archived on Saturday, October 8, call into question the conduct of authorities and suggest this prosecution is a clear act of harassment and intimidation on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation behind the pipeline.

About an hour after the drone was seized by police, Dewey, Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and others showed up to the Morton County Center to find out more information on why the drone was taken.

Dewey captured video of the entire incident, where his drone was seized. An officer, who cheekily said his name was “Mr. Deputy,” would not show evidence of a warrant to take the drone when police were asked multiple times. He also refused to provide his name or badge number when that information was requested.

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