Standing Rock: Cattle, horse killings near Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp gain attention
The killing and injuring of cattle and horses is one of the most emotionally charged incidents associated with the pipeline protests in Sioux and Morton Counties in North Dakota.
Authorities are investigating reports of livestock being killed or butchered — some even shot with arrows and left to suffer. The reports have made national news and helped build a case for a stronger law enforcement response in the area of the protests.
The most notable cases involve Jack Paul Thomas, a white rancher who has a Native American fiance. The couple live on a ranch site owned by his brother, Frank, about a half-mile east and south of Cannon Ball, which is a reservation settlement of about 200 people.
Cattle death incidents have occurred on a 360-acre pasture that lies adjacent to the Sacred Stone Camp, the original protest camp established around April 1.
While Thomas says he’s a victim in this case, he has his own history of legal problems. Most recently, on Oct. 19, a neighbor accused him of stealing a horse — a charge he strongly denies. He says the “stolen” horse was recovered from his corral, but it was in plain sight of North Dakota Highway 1806. He has appeared in court once on that case.
More significantly, he has a string of legal convictions and has served time for livestock theft, but says that doesn’t have anything to do with the cattle deaths.
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–Reprinted with permission from Forum News Service