Senator Al Franken: Why Is FBI Investigating DAPL Protesters?

Activism, FBI

The FBI’s joint terrorism task force is investigating DAPL political activists and Sen. Franken wants answers.

In a letter dated, March 1, 2017, to FBI Director James Comey, U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota),  a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, is requesting an explanation why at least three citizens opposed to the Dakota Access pipeline are being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), according to Native News Online.

“I am concerned that the reported questioning of political activists by one of the FBI’s terrorism task forces threatens to chill constitutionally protected conduct and speech,” Senator Franken writes in the letter.

Franken cites reports that JTTF agents have attempted to question at least three individuals who opposed the Dakota Access pipeline at camps at Standing Rock. He is concerned that this will restrict people’s constitutional right to protest if they are called terrorists simply for protesting.

“By assigning JTTF agents and officers to investigate Standing Rock protesters, i am concerned the FBI has opted to view civil rights activism through a national security lens. Embracing such tactics risks chilling the existence of constitutional rights and further undermining trust between federal law enforcement and our tribal nations,” the senator continues in the letter.

Franken has requested detailed information about the scope of the investigation by April 20, 2017.

(Article By Jeremiah Jones)

 

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