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Appeal hearing set for pipeline security firm seeking Louisiana - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Appeal hearing set for pipeline security firm seeking Louisiana license

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A private security firm affiliated with the company proposing the Bayou Bridge Pipeline will soon state its case before state licensing officials, who so far have denied the firm's effort to begin operating in Louisiana.

TigerSwan, a North Carolina-based security contractor, worked as the lead security consultant for Energy Transfer Partners during the months-long Dakota Access Pipeline protests. The company is now seeking permission to operate in Louisiana, where the Bayou Bridge permitting process is underway. But officials denied their application for a private security license because the company's facing a lawsuit in North Dakota.

An appeal hearing is set for Sept. 21 before the Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners, according to Executive Director Fabian Blache III.

Blache said he's preparing for standing-room-only attendance, as TigerSwan's work has generated protest among those opposed to the company's tactics against pipeline protesters.

Leaked documents show company's military-style tactics

Some of those tactics have come forward in a lawsuit against the company and in a trove of documents leaked to a nonprofit journalism outlet.

The North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board is suing TigerSwan for operating without a license during the Dakota Access protests. The board also alleges the company continued its work after it was denied a license.

Some of that work included physical and digital surveillance of protesters, according to documents submitted as evidence in the lawsuit. Read the lawsuit and documents here.

Those documents, which appear to be internal TigerSwan situation reports submitted to ETP, also show TigerSwan engaged in media counter-messaging against protesters — a tactic that's already been underway in Acadiana as the Bayou Bridge project waits in limbo. Read more on that from KATC.

Additional documents were leaked to The Intercept that show the company's military-style tactics against protesters. Read the stories and documents here.

The company's founder, James Reese, is a retired military officer with years of counterinsurgency experience in the global War on Terror in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, according to information included in the company's Louisiana license application.

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