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Could The Standing Rock Protesters Get Jail Time? Some Have Already Been Arrested

SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images

Tensions between law enforcement and protesters at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota have been increasing for months. Protesters representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and those in standing in solidarity, have endured rubber bullets, attack dogs, pepper spray, and many arrests by both security guards and law enforcement officers for protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. But could the Standing Rock protesters get jail time? Many have documented law enforcement officers meeting protesters, armed, and in riot gear, so it's anyone's guess how far those taken into custody will be dragged into the legal system.

For months, people have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline for its reported threat to the environment, the water supply, and its damage to sacred areas near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The clashes between protesters and law enforcement have been documented, and the use of pepper spray, beanbag rounds, and high-pitched sound devices by law enforcement, have sparked concerns, and involvement, from people around the world who have expressed their solidarity in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

According to NBC News, at least 141 protesters were arrested last week, according to a statement by the Morton County Sheriff's Department.

Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, released a statement criticizing the law enforcement's "militarized" presence:

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
A demonstrator holds up a placard in front of the White House in Washington, DC, September 13, 2016, as he an others gather to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. The US government on September 9, 2016 sought to stop work on a controversial oil pipeline in North Dakota that has angered Native Americans, blocking any work on federal land and asking the company to 'voluntarily pause' work nearby. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

As far as charges related to the Standing Rock protests go, efforts have certainly been made – one notable case is acclaimed Democracy Now! award-winning journalist and host, Amy Goodman. Goodman, whose live coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests helped bring widespread attention and awareness to what was happening, faced a "riot" charge – originally charged with criminal trespass. North Dakota's State Attorney Ladd R. Erickson filed the charges against Goodman on Oct. 14, Democracy Now! reported, but the case was later dismissed. Goodman labeled the dismissal a "vindication":

But Goodman apparently isn't alone. According to Democracy Now!, Cody Hall, a #NoDAPL organizer of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, was reportedly held in jail without bail or bond for three days before being released.

The stand-off at Standing Rock continues to need the world's attention, and despite the threat of arrest or jail time, activists aren't backing down.