[News] Water Protector Hit with Concussion Grenade in Surgery to Save Shattered Arm

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 22 15:01:24 EST 2016


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      Water Protector Hit with Concussion Grenade in Surgery to Save
      Shattered Arm

*Prepared by Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council at the Standing Rock 
Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Camps*

Contact: Michael Knudsen, Medic Coordinator and Standing Rock Sioux 
Tribe, ethno-botanist Linda Black Elk, PhD medichealercouncil at gmail.com

Censored News

On November 21st as a direct result of the violent police response at 
Standing Rock towards unarmed people opposing the Dakota Access 
Pipeline, a 21 year old woman from New York City, Sophia Wilansky, was 
severely injured when a concussion grenade thrown by police hit her left 
arm and exploded. Sophia was heading to bring water to the unarmed 
people who were being attacked for several hours by Morton County 
Sheriff forces. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has stated that 
she was injured by a purported propane explosion that the Sheriff’s 
Department claimed the unarmed people created. These statements are 
refuted by Sophia’s testimony, by several eye-witnesses who watched 
police intentionally throw concussion grenades at unarmed people, by the 
lack of charring of flesh at the wound site and by the grenade pieces 
that have been removed from her arm in surgery and will be saved for 
legal proceedings.

Sophia was safely taken out of North Dakota for emergent surgery and is 
currently in stable condition. Below is her statement as conveyed by her 
father, lawyer Wayne Wilansky.

“At around 4:30am after the police hit the bridge with water cannons and 
rubber bullets and pepper spray they lobbed a number of concussion 
grenades which are not supposed to be thrown at people directly at 
protesters or protectors as they want to be called. A grenade exploded 
right as it hit Sophia in the left forearm taking most of the 
undersurface of her left arm with it. Both her radial and ulnar artery 
were completely destroyed. Her radius was shattered and a large piece of 
it is missing. Her medial nerve is missing a large section as well.  All 
of the muscle and soft tissue between her elbow and wrist were blown 
away. The police did not do this by accident - it was an intentional act 
of throwing it directly at her. Additionally police were shooting people 
in face and groin intending to do the most possible damage. Sophia will 
have surgery again tomorrow as bit by bit they try to rebuild a somewhat 
functioning arm and hand. The first surgery took a vein from her leg 
which they have implanted in her arm to take the place of the missing 
arteries. She will need multiple surgeries to try to gain some 
functional use of the arm and hand. She will be, every day for the 
foreseeable future, fearful of losing her arm and hand. There are no 
words to describe the pain of watching my daughter cry and say she was 
sorry for the pain she caused me and my wife. I died a thousand deaths 
today and will continue to do so for quite some time. I am left without 
the right words to describe the anguish of watching her look at her now 
alien arm and hand.”

A fund set up by friends and verified to help with Sophia’s recovery is 
set up here:

https://www.gofundme.com/30aezxs

The Standing Rock Medic Healer Council deplores the ongoing use of 
violence by the state of North Dakota to address the concerns of the 
thousands of people peacefully assembled at Standing Rock to insist on 
the right to clean healthy drinking water.

Water is Life, Mni Wiconi

Signed,

Linda Black Elk, PhD, Ethnobotanist, Sitting Bull College

Michael Knudsen, MPH candidate, Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council

Noah Morris, EMT

Amelia Massucco, RN

John Andrews, RN

Kristina Golden, EMT, herbalist

Sebastian Rodriguez, RN

Rosemary Fister, RN, MNPHN, DNP Candidate

Rupa Marya, MD, DoNoHarm Coalition, University of California – San 
Francisco

David Kingfisher, MD, JD, Wichita State University

Jesse Lopez, MD, Heartland Surgical Care

Kalama O Ka Aina Niheu, MD, Aha Aloha Aina

Howard Ehrman, MD, MPH, University of Illinois - Chicago

Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, University of Chicago

Elizabeth Friedman, MD

Vanessa Bolin, ALS Paramedic

Contact: Michael Knudsen, Medic Coordinator and Standing Rock Sioux 
Tribe ethno-botanist Linda Black Elk, PhD – medichealercouncil at gmail.com

Photos available by request


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