The Latest: Pipeline protest prompts more than 80 arrests

AP News
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Posted: Oct 22, 2016 4:59 PM

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on a protest in North Dakota against the Dakota Access pipeline (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Authorities in North Dakota say 83 people were arrested Saturday at a construction site of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Morton County sheriff's office says about 300 protesters trespassed three miles onto private property Saturday morning. The sheriff's office says officers used pepper spray when some protesters attempted to breach a line that law enforcement officers had formed between demonstrators and construction equipment.

Authorities say the confrontation between officers and protesters lasted five hours.

The sheriff's office says one protester attempted to grab an officer's pepper spray canister, spraying the officer in the face and blinding him for five minutes.

Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says Saturday's incident shows that "this protest is not peaceful or lawful."

Charges against the individuals include assault on a peace officer, engaging in a riot and criminal trespass.

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2:03 p.m.

More than 20 people have been arrested at a North Dakota construction site while protesting the Dakota Access pipeline.

Morton County sheriff's spokesman Rob Keller says 200 to 300 people were protesting Saturday morning when authorities were called to the site south of Mandan, a city just west of Bismarck and about 50 miles north of where protesters have been camping for weeks.

Protests have drawn thousands of people to the area where Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners is trying to finish building the 1,200-mile pipeline.

Keller confirms that officers used pepper spray. More details are expected to be released Saturday afternoon.

The protesters are facing charges including criminal trespass and engaging in a riot.

More than 160 people have now been arrested in North Dakota since demonstrations began in August.