Lawsuit: North Dakota officers used ‘violence’ on protester

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Dakota Access Pipeline protesters have set fire to a bridge, tires and debris, North Dakota Department of Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong said. Authorities from seven other states have been called in to help remove protesters, she said. As of Thursday afternoon, about 100 protesters remained.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — 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 North Dakota Highway Patrol officers.

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.

Representatives for the three entities Mitchell is suing didn’t comment on the lawsuit.

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

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