Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, witnessed the encounter between the armed contractor and water protectors. He said on “Democracy Now!”:
It was a very terrifying moment for a lot of us watching, I mean, to see this man pulling an assault rifle at our water protectors. And I think that—many blessings and gratitude to some of the military veterans within our security, from within our Oceti Sakowin camp, who stepped up to negotiate and to de-escalate this man, to really talk to him to make sure that he did not hurt anybody, until the Bureau of Indian Affairs police officers could show up.
Thompson appeared on the scene about the same time that hundreds of police with militarized equipment surrounded a newly formed camp called the 1851 Treaty Camp, which was setup by water protectors to reclaim “unceded Dakota territory affirmed as part of the Standing Rock Reservation in the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851.”