UPDATE: 21-Year-Old Water Protector Faces Arm Amputation After Dakota Access Pipeline Police Confrontation

By Yessenia Funes Nov 22, 2016

Yesterday, November 22, Sophia Wilansky’s dad released a statement providing details of Wilansky’s injuries and how they’ll move forward through the Indian Country Today Media Network. Read it here.


During the recent confrontation between #NoDAPL water protectors and the Morton County Sherriff’s Department, a concussion grenade allegedly hit 21-year-old water protector Sophia Wilansky, who was handing out water, seriously injuring her left arm. She was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center, according to the Facebook pages of the Red Warrior Camp and Standing Rock Rising. 

Wilansky was one of about 300 water protectors who were injured at the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline on November 20-21, when officers used concussion grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons to subdue demonstrators. In an interview with the Guardian, her father, Wayne Wilansky said: "The best-case scenario is no pain and 10-20 percent functionality … She’s devastated. She looks at her arm and she cries." Colorlines has been unable to confirm if, in fact, she has undergone amputation, though the Red Warrior Camp and other Facebook users say she has.

According to a GoFundMe for her medical expenses, Sophia is from New York, where she organizes with NYC Shut It Down, a group that came together in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner killings, and Hoods4Justice. The GoFundMe page states:

Sophia has always been committed to confronting injustice through vigilance and resistance. Sophia was giving out bottles of water to protectors holding down the space when she was shot with a concussion grenade. This was the response of police and DAPL mercenaries as she and other brave protectors attempted to hold the line against the black snake in service of protecting our water.

As of publication, the fund had raised $152,153 out of the $180,000 goal. The 5,637 donations range from $100 to $5. Those interested can donate here. Friends have planned a prayer vigil at 4 p.m. CST outside the medical center.

The below images of her injury are graphic. Discretion is advised.