New Normal in Leith, North Dakota? - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

New Normal in Leith, North Dakota?

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Grant County Sheriff removing protester from Leith town hall meeting Grant County Sheriff removing protester from Leith town hall meeting
North Dakota Emergency Response Team North Dakota Emergency Response Team
Main Street, Leith, ND Main Street, Leith, ND
Main Street, Leith, ND Main Street, Leith, ND

Yesterday's showdown in tiny Leith brought out an uncommon display of North Dakota law enforcement.  In the aftermath of the unlikely town hall that included residents, white rights activists, anti-racist protestors, and others, how successful was the control plan -- and is North Dakota done with this?

  "Just step back please," says the Grant County Sheriff's Department.  

At times, shoutdowns invoked law enforcement to remove protestors.  However, it was never uncertain who was in control.

Once it became known members of the National Socialist Movement -- which calls itself a white rights' organization -- were coming to little Leith, law enforcement started hearing about protests -- and paid attention.  "We start hearing that type of information, that's going to happen, that's going to turn into a protest, that's how aw enforcement gets involved," says Captain Kyle Kirchmeier, Commander-SW Region, ND State Patrol.

That's because law enforcement can dictate the time, place and manner in which a protest takes place.  So for crowd control, Grant County reached out.  "The expected crowds they were hearing of getting, the Sheriff requested more assistance," notes Captain Kirchmeier.

The result was 17 troopers, 14 Emergency Response Team, four Mercer County, two Stark County Sheriff's Department, and four Grant County Sheriff's Department officers -- a total of 41.  However, "people could come and go as they wished.  It's just that we wanted to keep the two sides separate."

Which they did.  "And everybody was very well behaved, for the most part.  Other than some yelling back and forth."  While law enforcement did step in to remove protestors, the Grant County Sheriff reports no arrests or assaults.
So is North Dakota done with the National Socialist Movement, protestors and will little Leith return to normal?  "Just from the background that I'm aware of, I think this is going to be ongoing and it's going to have to go into the Court system to be resolved," says Captain Kirchmeier.

Grant County Sheriff Steven Bay confirms in a statement to KX News that he's been working with the various law enforcement agencies for quite a while, and "couldn't have asked for anything different" yesterday in Leith.


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