North Dakota Punishment of Progressive Shows Problem with Civil Asset Forfeiture


I probably don’t agree with many of Aaron Dorn’s political beliefs, but his experience in North Dakota puts a spotlight on the inherent corruption in civil asset forfeiture:

He was arrested during a Thanksgiving Day protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016 in Mandan and charged with felony reckless endangerment, among other offenses. A state trooper alleged Dorn tried to swerve and ram his vehicle into traffic on Main Street in Mandan.

In June, Dorn was acquitted at trial, but his legal battle isn’t over. Morton County has held his 2003 Chevrolet Silverado since his arrest. Even though Dorn was acquitted, getting his truck back is a separate matter involving civil asset forfeiture, or the law enforcement seizure of property suspected to be involved in criminal activity.

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Legitimate points might be made about the tactics in which anti-pipeline activists have engaged and the New York resident’s traveling to another state to cause trouble (from a certain perspective), but those are matters to address specifically in the law.  We should not want a surreptitious way of punishing people whose cases don’t meet the standard required by the law as it is written.

  • Aaron D

    Yeah I proved the Trooper, Michael Arndt, lied and made it all up using his own dashcam video, of which the State forgot they gave to me and tried to prevent it from being entered into evidence, as well as proving I did not resist arrest and it was basically a beating by the police sending me to the hospital. The judge dropped the third charge of obstruction of a governmental function for protesting in the street as every officer testified I was on the sidewalk, which was further proven by multiple videos showing I was on the sidewalk the whole time. The theft of my truck was simply a way to punish me for kicking their butts so hard and winning. Basically sore losers. BTW, I’m a former National Guard member and a constitutionalist/libertarian, I went there simply to support and defend our right to protest and peaceably assemble on public land, which is what the majority of us did. My objective was to simply drop off supplies and help build a yurt then proceed on my travels.