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posted by martyb on Thursday November 24 2016, @11:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the disproportionate-force dept.

Snopes reports

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. continues

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.

Water Cannons Used in Sub-Freezing Temperatures at Standing Rock

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Thursday November 24 2016, @02:40PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Thursday November 24 2016, @02:40PM (#432395) Journal

    Where have you been for the past, oh, 3 to 5 decades? There is ample evidence that police use excessive force, are poorly trained to handle peaceful protest situations, and when they mess up tell lies that make it seem like their victims were assaulting them and got what they deserved, and finally are not too smart. People of low intelligence tend to be more racist, and more impatient and quicker to violence. Also, police work attracts the sort of people who enjoy being little dictators, enjoy the feeling of power it gives them to carry firearms around, and are prone to thinking of legal barriers to the way they want to work as "Constitutional bullshit" for which they "don't have time".

    A common trick is to plant a weapon on or near a weaponless victim. The police have no shortage of weapons to plant, and it would be no problem for them to procure a few propane tanks. Perhaps the protesters did have propane tanks they were using to keep themselves warm and cook meals, and the police seized a few earlier. This story that the young protester was setting up a IED and it detonated stinks to high heaven, yet you actually give it serious consideration? Do you have any idea how hard it is to make a propane tank explode? "In fact, bringing a propane tank to the point of 'explosion' is a tremendously difficult and time consuming task that's not as simple as most people think. Many people believe that a propane tank 'explosion' can occur with the slightest of ease." Who among the protesters would have experience in making propane tanks explode? Would think of trying to make IEDs from propane tanks, think making IEDs was a good idea, and think they know how to do it and that it would work? Not at all likely to be a young woman. Was she obsessed with explosives in high school chemistry class or something?

    The protesters know that they are massively outgunned, know that showing weapons in this situation is suicidally stupid. Yet you think some are stupid enough to do that anyway? Much more likely that some protesters were merely blocking the road with their bodies, and the police lost their patience and tried to flush the protesters out with force, then threw in these propane tanks and concocted this story to place blame on the protesters.

    Selma AL, 1965. Kent State, 1970. Ruby Ridge, 1992. Branch Davidian compound, Waco TX, 1993, to name just a few. And all the recent shootings that Black Lives Matter has been protesting.

    People have been saying for years that the police frame citizens all the time, and get away with it. Now thanks to smart phones with built in cameras, we have ample video evidence that they are right, and it has finally been accepted by the public. Also consider that police are awfully anxious that no one film them. They've been resisting requirements to wear body cameras and install dash cameras in their patrol cars. They frequently harass citizens who are trying to film them, and it's taken lawsuits and court cases to back them off. If they were the upstanding, righteous enforcers of the law they like to appear to be, they should welcome all these cameras, as the footage could not but support them. That they don't want to be on camera is most telling. They're doing wrong, and they know it.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24 2016, @04:37PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24 2016, @04:37PM (#432449)
    It isn't just the USA; take a look at The Battle of Orgreave []. There have been some disturbing rumours [] of late regarding that event and others where armed forces personnel were allegedly wearing police uniforms and initiating violence. While you may question the veracity and bias of that site, I would encourage you to read through the linked articles and those related. The arrest/conviction rate for the events at Orgreave are a matter of public record and suggest that something sinister was going on, a feeling that isn't helped by the government's refusal to hold a public enquiry. The same police force was implicated in the Hillsborough disaster, but I wouldn't suggest they're the only force who've had an ethics bypass.