‘TigerSwan’ Private Security Hired by Oil Company Played Leading Role in ‘Vicious Assaults’ Against Standing Rock Sioux-Led Pipeline Protests

PC: Susan Melkisethian
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By The Vanguard Staff

CANNON BALL, ND – “When the Standing Rock Sioux led protests against the Dakota Access pipeline beginning in 2016, they were attacked with dogs, tear gas, and rubber bullets,” writes The Intercept.

The independent news reporting outfit now charges “TigerSwan, the private firm hired by the oil company Energy Transfer, played a leading role in these vicious assaults. But documents uncovered by The Intercept reveal horrifying new evidence of how TigerSwan also coordinated directly with law enforcement agencies.

“These revelations came after The Intercept fought an expensive and grueling legal battle to obtain 60,000 pages of documents that the state of North Dakota and Energy Transfer fought to keep hidden — and we’re not done digging for the truth,” said The Intercept recently, adding, “We’ve already spent over $100,000 in legal costs.”

The Intercept’s latest reporting finds “the National Sheriffs’ Association talked routinely with Energy Transfer’s private security firm throughout the protests, working hand in hand to craft pro-pipeline messaging—at one point even proposing that a fake news crew be sent to ‘report’ on the protests and pollute the public’s perception of the Standing Rock Sioux.” 

The documents The Intercept obtained reveal TigerSwan “provided law enforcement support with helicopter flights, medics, and security guards. The private security firm pushed for the purchase, by Energy Transfer, of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of radios for the cops as well as a catalog of so-called less-lethal weapons for police use, including tear gas.”

Communications firms working for Energy Transfer and the National Sheriffs’ Association, adds The Intercept, “worked together to write newsletters, plant pro-pipeline articles in the media, and circulate ‘wanted’-style posters of particular protesters.”

The Intercept said this month the pipeline “investigation has been one of the largest — and most expensive — that we’ve ever taken on, and there’s still more material to go through,” and promised to disclose more information as its investigation continues.

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