Another Dakota Access pipeline protester arrested in Washington

(CNN) — The Dakota Access pipeline protest case against another former occupier opened Monday, as a judge held a woman charged with intimidating a judge without bond.

Kim Potter faces one count of interference in the work of a judge or court. He said there is a strong presumption that Potter is innocent. He set a trial date of May 23.

The federal case against Potter and other protesters centers on a February 18 incident where she allegedly shouted at a US District Court judge during a pretrial hearing in Washington, CNN affiliate WJLA reported.

Potter allegedly screamed, “You don’t belong here, you’re a racist pig” at US District Judge Beryl Howell and yelled other anti-Trump statements at the judge, WJLA reported.

The US District Court criminal complaint said she yelled at the judge because she said she considered Howell a “threat” and could “reliably provide a reason to issue a gag order against her.”

Howell told WJLA that she was just doing her job.

Other charges on the docket

If Potter is convicted, the judge could hold her in contempt of court and then impose a prison sentence, WJLA reported.

Potter was arrested in February for her role in the Dakota Access protests in North Dakota, including a monthslong battle that ended with protesters forcibly removed from a campsite in January.

Tensions came to a head as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s President, Dave Archambault II, led protesters, now in their second year, at a remote stretch of land along the Cannonball River north of Bismarck, the state capital.

Archambault was removed in the middle of the night by authorities, at the end of a protest that had grown larger than ever as federal authorities at times appeared reluctant to intervene.

The Indian Affairs Department reversed its decision not to allow a tribal leader to lead a walk-up protest, and Archambault was driven to the back of a truck and driven to the tribal office.

He was questioned about possible involvement in a sniper-fired assault against law enforcement that also injured Sacred Stone Camp spokesman Carson Greenwald.

“In accordance with our treaty, all people, living or dead, have a right to freely demonstrate in the path of their people, for or against government,” Archambault was quoted as saying.

Later, on February 18, another part of the protest was broken up by authorities.

Potter participated in the blockade, where supporters were warned to vacate, according to court documents, which said she swore at then-US Department of Agriculture official Ken White when he came to check on the protesters.

Once the judge entered the courtroom, Potter shouted and passed around a pro-independence flier, WJLA reported.

Also charged in Washington

Potter and other protesters are accused of vandalizing a camp in North Dakota that was set up to protest the 1,200-mile, $3.8 billion pipeline project that would cut across four states and would carry 470,000 barrels of oil a day from western North Dakota to Illinois.

Potter’s sister, Carli Potter, was arrested and charged in a Washington federal courtroom with interfering with the work of a US government official and remaining within 100 yards of a federal facility during the restricted hours. She was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in court again April 24.

Also charged in Washington, Cheryl Dubois, 33, was held on $5,000 bond at her first court appearance Monday. She is accused of refusing to leave the Sacred Stone Camp site, even after she was told the area was off-limits for the tribe’s first year of protests, WJLA reported.

Dubois’ next court date is set for April 24.

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