BISMARCK, N.D. Chase Iron Eyes pleaded not guilty to charges relating to a February incident where law enforcement removed him from a protest camp. The judge decided on a jury trial that will happen at a later date. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted on the felony charge.
According to reports, Morton County Deputy Dion Bitz assumed that Iron Eyes was a leader in part due to a post on his Facebook page from around 9:30 a.m. Feb. 1 saying that “we are asking all frontliners in camp to come to the high ground west of the Oceti camps to put out a call for others to join this stand.”
According to Deputy Dion Bitz – In previous days, Iron Eyes had also put up Facebook posts such as, “Shut the whole place down. Let’s obliterate this tyranny. Show them where we draw the line,” which were presented to the judge as evidence.
According to Deputy Dion Bitz “Two others” apparently “identified Iron Eyes” as a leader on videos posted to social media.
Bitz said Iron Eyes was also involved with negotiations with law enforcement about taking down the camp and relayed information that people would not leave.
“Going to that camp to take a stand is not asking people to riot,” said Iron Eyes’ attorney Michael Hoffman.
“Maybe he’s guilty of criminal trespass and maybe he’s guilty of actually being part of the group that’s taking a stand, but there’s no evidence that this man did anything (to incite) a riot.”
Updates will be added when available –
Credits: Lakota People’s Law Project had this link from a Facebook Post alerting us of the hearing. Very quiet considering the depth of the issues. – We expected some “Public Statement” from him.
We salute the MANY peaceful water protectors who face charges.