Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein — who is wanted on a North Dakota arrest warrant for spray painting a bulldozer during an oil pipeline protest — can’t be arrested by local authorities as she campaigns in Chicago on Thursday, North Dakota officials said.
Morton County sheriff’s police on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for Stein, 66, on one misdemeanor count each of criminal trespass and criminal trespass stemming from a Tuesday protest at the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
Stein joined other protesters who feared the pipeline project would destroy sacred Native American land. Some protesters were also concerned that the project would affect the area’s drinking water.
During the Tuesday protest, Stein was seen on video spray painting “I approve this message” on a construction bulldozer.
Stein was named in an arrest warrant along with her running mate Ajamu Baraka.
Stein, a Chicago native who grew up in Highland Park, is in Chicago on Thursday for what her campaign billed a “reality tour” on the West Side and a rally in Uptown on Thursday night.
But Morton County sheriff’s office spokeswoman Donnell Preskey on Thursday said Stein must be arrested in North Dakota, since the charges are misdemeanors.
“She has to be arrested in state, or unless she wants to cooperate,” Preskey said.
Both offenses are Class B misdemeanors.
Stein was also arrested for disorderly conduct during her 2012 presidential campaign when she tried to take part in the second presidential debate in Hempstead, New York. She claimed then she was strapped to a chair with plastic cuffs for eight hours before she was released.
The first presidential debate is Sept. 26 in Hempstead, New York. Stein again is attempting to persuade the Commission on Presidential Debates to be included in that debate despite the commission’s self-imposed 15 percent polling threshold.
In 2012, Stein collected .36 percent of the presidential vote.
Contributing: Lynn Sweet