For too long, groups which do not like being held accountable for their actions have decided to instead attack the credibility of law enforcement and our first responders.

We are now at a point where people who create, promote, and fund circumstances that threaten the safety of others are seeing fit to blame law enforcement for making sure all people are safe and for holding all accountable for their actions

A recent example is Winona LaDuke’s claim of “repressive police brutalization” of people involved in the violent protests against the Line 3 Replacement Project.

Minnesota and the people we depend on to keep us safe made it through a challenging summer because of sustained efforts by people like LaDuke who are well-funded and by others recruited to bring Standing Rock-like protests to Minnesota.

People had the right to protest the Line 3 project but were taken into custody when they broke the law, damaged property, and/or threatened workers and others. As a person who worked in law enforcement for 30 years, I found it hard to watch what happened this summer.

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At the same time, it was inspiring to see so many different agencies working together to de-escalate situations when that was possible and to respond to significant challenges.

People protesting Line 3 wanted to recreate confrontations similar to what happened in the Dakotas. Instead, they encountered well-trained law enforcement officers ready to carry out their important work.

Instead of being brutalized victims, the protesters tried to use well-funded bullying and violent tactics to stop a project that deserved to be approved.

All that is left for them is to try to mislead and confuse with regard to what really happened. Thankfully, the public record and videos the protestors themselves produced tell the real story.

Dale Thorson

Bagley, Minnesota

The writer is a retired Minnesota State Patrol trooper.


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