from the disproportionate-force dept.
On 20 November 2016, the Dakota Access pipeline protests reached new proportions when an ongoing demonstration turned into a violent [assault on protesters by] law enforcement officials.
Pipeline protesters say 21-year-old Sophia Wilansky was critically injured when she was struck with a concussion grenade thrown by Morton County sheriff's deputies while she was handing out water. As a result, she has been hospitalized and now faces the prospect of having her left arm amputated.
On 21 November 2016, Wilansky's father, Wayne Wilansky, [...] told reporters that she may need as many as 20 surgeries and that, aside from her arm injury, Sophia had welts all over her body from being shot by rubber[-coated steel] bullets, and that it took hours for an ambulance to reach her because of roadblocks.
A statement from The Standing Rock Medic & Healing Council stated:
"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."
Snopes also notes:
A total of 26 protesters were hospitalized and more than 300 were injured.
Authorities used rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion grenades, tear gas, and water cannons against unarmed protesters near the Dakota Access oil pipeline in 26°F (-3°C) temperatures over the weekend.
Indian Country Today reports
"We have seen four gunshot wounds, three of them to the face and head", said Leland Brenholt, a volunteer medic.
[...]400 protesters, or "water protectors", attempted to dismantle a police-enforced barricade on State Highway 1806.
[...]"Water protectors are done with the military-style barricades. We are done with the floodlights and the armored military trucks. We are are done with it!" declared organizer, Dallas Goldtooth in a mid-evening Facebook post.
Their action was met with the same militarized response that the Morton County Sheriff's Department has demonstrated on protesters for weeks: the use of armored trucks, less-than-lethal ammunition, tear-gas, mace, and on this below-freezing night, water cannons.
[...]Reports from a coalition of advocacy groups near Standing Rock report hundreds of water protectors were receiving treatment for contamination by tear gas, hypothermia, and blunt traumas as a result of rubber bullets. One person, an elder, was reportedly revived after suffering cardiac arrest, organizers said.
"As medical professionals, we are concerned for the real risk of loss of life due to severe hypothermia under these conditions," read a statement from the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council.
A more measured take is available from the AP.
A federal judge ruled [June 14] that the Trump administration must conduct additional environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline, handing a limited victory to Native American tribes fighting the administration's decision to move forward with the project.
In an extensive opinion,[PDF] Washington, DC District Court Judge James Boasberg sided with the tribes by agreeing the Army Corps of Engineers "did not consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, human rights, or environmental justice."
[...] Boasberg did not order a shutdown of operations on the pipeline, which began pumping oil early this month. The tribes and pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners are ordered to appear in court next week to decide next legal steps, and the tribes are expected to argue for a full shutdown of pipeline operations.
 Link in article redirects.
Dakota Access Pipeline Suffers Oil Leak Even Before Becoming Operational
Recent News Dispatches From Standing Rock (DAPL)
Army Corp of Engineers Now Accepting Public Comment on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Army Corps of Engineers Blocks the Dakota Access Pipeline
Standing Rock Protester May Lose Her Arm Because of Police Grenades
Water Cannons Used in Sub-Freezing Temperatures at Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Protest
Standing Rock Protestors Gassed and Attacked; Bundy Gang Acquitted [Updated]
Journalist Charged in North Dakota with Rioting; Case is Dismissed