Activists at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests are alleging that Sophia Wilansky, a 21-year old New Yorker, may lose her arm after being struck by a concussion grenade fired by police, reports the CBC.
The incident occurred late Sunday evening when authorities at the Standing Rock Reservation fired tear gas and spraying protestors with water cannons as temperatures dropped to 26 degrees fahrenheit. According to the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council, Wilansky was one of 300 people injured, and was airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where doctors say her arm may have to be amputated. The center confirmed to the CBC that Wilansky was in serious condition.
A GoFundMe page set up to cover Wilansky's medical bills has gathered nearly $220,000 in donations less than 24 hours after launching. "Sophia was giving out bottles of water to protectors holding down the space when she was shot with a concussion grenade," the page reads.
Sophia's father, Wayne Wilansky, issued a statement through the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council. He claimed that police were "intentionally" throwing concussion grenades at protestors, and "were shooting people in face and groin intending to do the most possible damage." He described his daughter's injuries. "Sophia will have surgery again tomorrow as bit by bit they try to rebuild a somewhat functioning arm and hand... 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."
The Council will hold a press conference today at 2.45 p.m. CST to discuss the "evolving conditions from [the confrontation on Sunday evening]."