Sheriff wants charges for Green Party candidate after spray-painting bulldozer incident
A North Dakota Sheriff told CNN local affiliate KXMB he wants trespassing charges against Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein following an incident where she apparently spray painted a bulldozer Tuesday during an anti-oil pipeline environmental protest.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said that he is seeking to file charges against Stein for spray painting the construction vehicle, though the 2016 long-shot was not arrested during the protest.
Stein can be seen on local media outlet video Tuesday shaking a can before spraying something onto the front blade of the bulldozer at a construction site in St. Anthony, North Dakota. The company Energy Transfer Partners is behind the pipeline construction, though its unclear whom specifically the bulldozer belongs to or which site she was on. It was not clear what Stein spray painted onto the bulldozer.
CNN has reached out to both the Stein camp and the Morton County Sheriff’s office to confirm the details, but did not immediately receive a response. As of Wednesday, charges against Stein had not yet been filed.
Kirchmeier told the Bismarck Tribune that he was working with the state attorney’s office regarding charges. CNN has reached out to the North Dakota Attorney General’s office and have not yet gotten a response.
A spokesperson for Stein told KXMB that she will hold a news conference Wednesday.
Stein was in North Dakota with dozens of demonstrators to protest the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a nearly $4 billion effort to construct a pipeline linking the Bakken shale formation, a large shale oil deposit in the state, with oil refineries on the Gulf coast.
Displaying her activist credentials, Stein spoke to some of the protesters about the pipeline and did some campaigning as well. She described herself as “someone who’s been here with you on the frontlines” and joined a scattered “where’s Obama?” chant.
Stein has a history of environmental activism, and was arrested in 2012 when she was running for president in that cycle during her protest outside a presidential debate she was not invited to.