Target: Christopher C. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota
Goal: Investigate alleged police brutality against Dakota Access Pipeline protestors, particularly the case of Sophia Wilansky, who may have been injured by a concussion grenade.
Sophia Wilansky, a 21-year-old protestor at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, may lose her arm after suffering severe injuries during a police standoff. Wilansky had been in North Dakota for three weeks protesting the pipeline, before her injuries required her to be evacuated to a hospital in Minneapolis. According to her father, Wayne Wilansky, the best-case scenario now is that she will regain 10-20 percent functionality of her arm, though amputation is still a possibility.
Although her case is particularly heartbreaking, Sophia Wilansky is only one of hundreds of protestors who were injured in the latest showdown with the police, and one of at least 26 who had to be hospitalized. “Less-than-lethal” weapons were unleashed on the protestors, including pepper spray, teargas, rubber bullets, Tasers, sound weapons, and a water cannon in freezing temperatures. Other activists, along with Wilansky’s father, believe that she was hit with a concussion grenade, though police deny using this type of weapon. “We didn’t deploy anything that should have caused that type of damage to her arm,” a spokesperson from the sheriff’s department commented.
Eyewitness accounts maintain that police did in fact throw concussion grenades during the skirmish, and grenade pieces were allegedly removed from Wilansky’s arm during surgery, and put aside for legal proceedings. This young woman deserves justice, as do the hundreds of others who have been terrorized for exercising free speech. Sign the petition to demand that the District Attorney investigate police brutality against protestors at Standing Rock, and seek justice for Sophia Wilansky.
Dear Mr. District Attorney,
I am writing on behalf of Sophia Wilansky, one of the protestors at Standing Rock who is now suffering from severe injuries sustained during a police standoff. Ms. Wilansky may lose her arm because of police brutality; witnesses say she was injured by police throwing concussion grenades, though representatives from the sheriff’s department deny using this type of weapon.
Furthermore, sources close to Wilansky believe that her evacuation to a hospital may have been delayed due to the barricade on the bridge just north of the encampment, which is where the skirmish took place. Activists were concerned that the barricade represented a safety concern for the camp and the reservation, as it blocked the most direct route to Bismarck – it appears that their concerns were warranted.
I urge you to get to the bottom of this case, and to fully investigate police brutality and excessive force used against protestors at Standing Rock. Sophia Wilansky deserves justice, as do the countless other activists in North Dakota exercising their constitutionally protected right of free speech and standing up for what is right.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue