Police has used a concussion grenade against Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrators on Sunday. As a result, one of the activists may lose her arm.
After law enforcement officers used a concussion grenade against Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrators during the Sunday protest on a bridge near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Sophia Wilansky, one of the fellow demonstrators, may lose her arm, her father Wayne Wilansky said. At the same time, the fact of using of any weapons that could have caused such damage have been denied by authorities.
According to pipeline protester Dallas Goldtooth, Wilansky was “struck directly by a concussion grenade.” Reportedly, the girl was handing out bottles of water to protesters at the moment of the hit. A photo, allegedly showing Wilansky in a vehicle with a severe arm injury, with a clearly visible bone, was published online.
The girl was taken to a Minnesota hospital, where she was sent to surgery. Her father said that Sophia had 20 or more surgeries in hope of saving her arm. He also added that there are witnesses, who clearly saw that law enforcement officers threw the concussion grenade.
“This is not Afghanistan, this is not Iraq… we don’t throw grenades at people,” Wayne Wilansky said, blaming the authorities for his daughter’s injury.
Meanwhile, spokeswoman for the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, Maxine Herr, has denied all accusations, contradicting several reports from activists.
“It wasn’t from our law enforcement, because we didn’t deploy anything that should have caused that type of damage to her arm,” the Los Angeles Times quoted her words.
Herr also added that the girl could be wounded, when demonstrators were “rigging up their own explosives” in order to throw them at police.
“The only explosion the officers heard was on the protesters’ side,” Herr said.
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According to activists, a total of 26 people, including Wilansky, were taken to a hospital after the clashes with police on Sunday. Reportedly, more than 200 demonstrators had to be treated for hypothermia, as water cannon in below-freezing temperatures was used by the Sheriff’s Department against them. Authorities also used tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.
Demonstrations against the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline have been taking place since spring 2016. Protestors are sure that the pipeline could pollute nearby water sources and destroy sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.