Lawsuit: North Dakota officers used 'violence' on protester

Pipes near Dakota Access Pipeline work site Photo: KSTP/Matt Belanger
Pipes near Dakota Access Pipeline work site

Updated: July 19, 2019 11:07 AM

A man who was injured during protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in January 2017 has filed a lawsuit accusing North Dakota law enforcement of using "excessive violence."

The lawsuit filed Thursday names Morton County, the city of Bismarck and state Highway Patrol officers.

RELATED: Dakota Access developer sues Greenpeace in state court

The complaint says officers fired shotgun beanbag rounds at peaceful, unarmed protesters and that one shattered the orbital wall of Marcus Mitchell's left eye, wounding his cheekbone and the skin near his eye.

The suit says 24-year-old Mitchell, a Navajo tribal member who lives in New Mexico, underwent treatment but still suffers from vision, hearing and smell problems. He's seeking unspecified damages.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that representatives for the three entities Mitchell is suing didn't comment on the lawsuit.

RELATED: Opponents want hearing on Dakota Access Pipeline expansion

Law enforcement has denied using excessive force against the pipeline protesters.

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