Fact Check

North Dakota Gives the Green Light to Shoot Indigenous Tribes on Sight

North Dakota's governor declared a state of emergency over ongoing protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but he didn't authorize the shooting of protesters "on sight."

Published Aug. 28, 2016

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple gave the "green light" to shoot indigenous people on sight.

On 25 August 2016, the web site Anarchicnews published an article reporting that North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple had given the "green light" to shoot "Indigenous tribes" protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in that state:

Whilst Trump is targeting Mexicans and Muslims, his new advisor and current governor of North Dakota has just given the green light to “shoot on sight” Indigenous tribes that are peacefully protesting against the Dakota pipeline.

Please share this with the world let them know how they are treating us… we are not terrorist! We are defending the land and the water! Protecting out future!

Anarchicnews cited three sources at the bottom of their article, but two of those sources included no mention of Governor Darlymple's alleged order to shoot protesters, while the third source, a Facebook group, was inaccessible.

Anarchicnews made no mention of whom Governor Darlymple had given the "green light" to "shoot protesters on sight," nor did they explain by what authority a state governor could order the indiscriminate shooting of people who posed no imminent threat to others' lives. Moreover, if Gov. Darlymple truly had given someone a "green light" to shoot protesters "on sight," it's highly unlikely that the only source reporting this news would be a private Facebook group and an obscure blog.

Anarchicnews' reporting is also discredited by the fact that indigenous people are still actively protesting the pipeline, in clear view of authorities, yet none of them has been taken out by forces allegedly told to "shoot [them] on sight."

Governor Dalrymple declared a state of emergency in North Dakota to deal with the pipeline protests on 19 August 2016, proclaiming that the main goals behind his declaration were to ensure the safety of law enforcement, the general public, and the protesters:

Gov. Jack Dalrymple today authorized a restricted emergency declaration, making available additional state resources which may be needed to manage public safety risks associated with the ongoing protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Cannon Ball.

The Governor’s executive order does not include activation of the North Dakota National Guard, but makes available other state resources for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and well-being of the general public and those involved in the protest. The executive order can help the state and local agencies manage costs associated with providing a heightened law enforcement presence and activates the State Emergency Operations Plan to coordinate the efficient flow of resources.

“The State of North Dakota remains committed to protecting citizens’ rights to lawfully assemble and protest, but the unfortunate fact remains that unlawful acts associated with the protest near Cannon Ball have led to serious public safety concerns and property damage,” Gov. Dalrymple said. “This emergency declaration simply allows us to bring greater resources to bear if needed to help local officials address any further public safety concerns.”

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.