32 Arrested for Probable Cause Felony Charges
On Friday, August 20, 2021, deputies from the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Gowan Pump Station, west of Floodwood, on a report of numerous people trespassing on critical infrastructure.
Deputies arrived and encountered approximately 50 people found to be trespassing and blocking the roadway. Verbal commands were given to the people to vacate the area and not obstruct traffic. Most deliberately failed to comply with the lawful commands.
Three people had locked themselves down and an extrication team was called in to remove the people from the “sleeping dragon-style” locking devices. One person was also elevated approximately 25 feet in the air in a tri-pod structure.
Due to the sheer number of non-compliant people, additional law enforcement staff were summoned to the scene. Personnel from the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources and the Fond du Lac Tribal Police Department responded to assist.
Law enforcement officials attempted to verbally convince the protesters to clear the area. Some did but many still refused. After non-enforcement options were exhausted, multiple dispersal orders were given. Some people did choose to clear the area but most refused. Law enforcement personnel then moved in and arrested those who chose to stay.
32 people were arrested as a result of their actions. All were arrested and booked for Probable Cause Felony Theft, Probable Cause Trespass on Critical Infrastructure and Obstructing the Legal Process. All people were arrested without incident. At no time did law enforcement utilize any chemical munitions or other non-lethal weapons during today’s civil unrest.
Of the 32 arrested, 25 list a birthplace outside of Minnesota and 20 were females.