All Serious Charges Dropped Against Chase Iron Eyes
Above from Lakota People’s Law Project
Plans To Continue To Confront The Fossil Fuel Industry, Fight The Keystone XL Pipeline
Thanks to your kind and generous support, and the incredible, dogged work of the Lakota People’s Law Project legal team, we have all won a great victory!
Immediately after we filed another 160 pages of hard-hitting evidence on the necessity defense, the North Dakota prosecutors dropped all serious charges against me. I am no longer facing six years in prison, a long separation from my wife and children, and the loss of my law license. Together, we have climbed this mountain!
My arrest for alleged criminal trespass and felony incitement of a riot has been reduced to a minor, Class B misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. As long as I go 360 days without violating any criminal law, even this will be expunged from my record.
As you know, it is legally impossible for me and other Native people to trespass on treaty land. I never started a riot. I and the other water protectors are not terrorists. You and I and the US veterans who stood with us to protect Mother Earth are the true patriots.
With these charges behind me, I am looking forward to working with my colleague Madonna Thunder Hawk—who stands ready to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline at her home on the Cheyenne River Reservation—and my fellow Standing Rock tribal member Phyllis Young, who is leading our charge to bring renewable energy to Standing Rock as part of our #GreenTheRez campaign.
In the coming months, Lakota People’s Law Project Chief Counsel Daniel Sheehan and the entire team will continue to strategically confront the fossil fuel industry and their destructive agenda, which threatens our water, our planet, and the entire human family. We will make full use of all of the evidence, affidavits, depositions, and testimony you helped us collect as part of this case, which is now permanently protected as part of the public record.
Wopila Tanka—My humble and warmest gratitude for making this victory possible.
P.S. My heart is immeasurably lifted knowing that your support has given me the opportunity to remain with my family and continue defending the sovereignty of the Oceti Sakowin. Please continue to stand with the Lakota People’s Law Project in our sacred journey as we bring clean energy to Standing Rock, challenge Keystone XL, and safeguard the First Amendment, Native rights, and Unci Maka. Let’s keep the circle strong. There is nothing we can’t accomplish together. Donate to the Lakota People’s Law Project here.
Chase Iron Eyes is the Lead Counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project