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Did Guard on Site at Saturday’s Standoff at Standing Rock Work with Private Security Company?

HeadlineSep 08, 2016

More details may have emerged about the standoff on Saturday. While it is not yet known which security company working for Dakota Access was responsible for attacking Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray, it has emerged that one of the security guards on site may be an Air Force and Army veteran who now works with a security company called Torchlight USA, LLC. Torchlight was founded by a former Marine officer, Eric Kirsch, whose LinkedIn profile says he went on to do private consulting for the State Department. Internal company documents say Torchlight provides “consulting in direct support to US Government, NATO Coalition, and Corporate initiatives.” The security guard, Landon Steele, is listed on Torchlight’s website as a company officer and adviser. He appears to be the same man photographed multiple times at the site of Saturday’s conflict, at times holding a dog.

[UPDATE: After Democracy Now!’s broadcast, Torchlight founder Eric Kirsch confirmed in a Facebook post that Landon Steele was on the pipeline site in North Dakota and is a Torchlight advisor, but wrote “Mr. Steele was not on the job for Torchlight in ND.” Kirsch also contacted Democracy Now! and stated “Torchlight is not involved in any capacity in ND.”]

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