Dem senator urges Justice Dept. to intervene at Standing Rock protests

Dem senator urges Justice Dept. to intervene at Standing Rock protests
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New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (D) is urging the Justice Department to intervene and deploy federal monitors to Standing Rock as reports emerge of violence against protestors.

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In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Booker cites “ongoing danger to both protestors and law enforcement,” at the site of ongoing protests against the North Dakota Access Pipeline, urging the DOJ to investigate “all credible reports of inappropriate police tactics … and send federal monitors to Standing Rock to ensure that protestors can peacefully assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights.”

Earlier this week, police used water cannons and rubber bullets on protestors near the Dakota Access oil pipeline site.

Police defended their actions, saying that the protestors were blocking a public road and were throwing things at law enforcement.

"I am deeply troubled by this tense situation, and particularly by reports indicating that law enforcement may be responding to peaceful protestors near Standing Rock with overly aggressive tactics,” Booker wrote in his letter.

Booker also noted concern for the safety of law enforcement officers at the site and cited reports of an officer being hit by a rock.

“This further highlights the untenable situation at Standing Rock, and shows a dire need for federal intervention to ensure the peace and to protect both protestors and police officers," he said.