Feedback: Mohawk Man Arrested Following Showdown At Old GM Plant


Years of frustration over the contaminated site of the former General Motors Powertrain plant in Massena came to a boiling point Thursday during a standoff between a traditionalist Mohawk and state police.

Police said 56 year old Larry Thompson of the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation used a backhoe to break through a fence at the old GM plant and started digging up a capped area containing hazardous waste.

A number of Mohawks are angry that Native Americans are not getting hired to clean up and dismantle the former plant; they're also upset that contaminated soil has not been removed.

The GM property borders native territory.

Police said Thompson was one of ten people involved in the demonstration, but the other demonstrators fled when authorities arrived on scene.

According to police, Thompson barricaded himself in the backhoe while authorities negotiated with him to give himself up.

At one point., troopers said Thompson drove towards police.

The standoff, which began Thursday morning, ended peacefully three hours later.

Thompson was taken into custody and charged with second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree criminal trespass and resisting arrest.

After the standoff, crews were brought in to contain the disturbed waste.

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Saturday, December 3, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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