A protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline nearly turned deadly early Monday morning when an explosion took place in a standoff between riot police and a large group of environmentalist protestors, causing a too-the-bone arm injury on 21-year-old protester Sophia Wilansky.
There’s no doubt whatsoever that Wilansky was severely injured by some sort of small explosion as she was part of a group of protestors advancing upon police lines.
Law enforcement has openly admitted that been using certain kinds of less-lethal weapon systems to keep the protestors—who have at times been violent—at a distance and off the private property where the pipeline being completed. Monday’s confrontation took place at a bridge near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation as protestors attempted to remove vehicles they’d previously set aflame in order to get to the police barricade on the far side of the bridge.
At approximately 3:00 AM Monday morning, 21-year-old protestor Sophia Wilansky was wounded in an small explosion. Coincidentally, a young woman at the same remote place, at the exact same time, was wounded trying to plant bombs (my bold below).
Law enforcement say they are investigating the use of homemade explosives at a Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protest. They have recovered weapons and are investigating whether or not they are related to injuries a female protester suffered.
Law enforcement say around 3:00 a.m. November 21, protester activity had de-escalated near the Backwater Bridge, but they noticed two males and a femaleusing a barricade to hide their activity.
Officials say they gave repeated orders for the three people to come out from behind the barricade and they attempted to force them out with “less than lethal” bean bags and sponge rounds. It was then the officers noticed the protesters approach and roll multiple metallic cylinder objects.
“The subjects were given opportunities to retreat back, but it became obvious that they were tampering with the vehicle or planting a device,” said Highway Patrol Lieutenant Tom Iverson. “Their strange mannerisms led law enforcement to believe they were there for a purpose with a calculated effort to either cause harm or breach the line.”
Lt. Iverson says after the cylinders were rolled, law enforcement witnessed an explosion. Several protesters ran to the area, pulled a female from under the vehicle, and fled the scene.
Law Enforcement received information that protesters were using one-pound propane cylinders as explosives and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation with support from Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms recovered three of these propane canisters from the site of the explosion.
Investigators also collected rocks and glass jars consistent with the design of Molotov cocktails that were used as weapons against law enforcement.
It was after the female was pulled away from the site of the explosion that Wilansky was brought back to protest medics, with her allies claiming that a police “concussion grenade” injured her.
Curiously, none of the protestors have been able to provide video, photos, or physical evidence of the police possessing, much less deploying such a device.
Officers, however, recovered this from the site of the blast.
Logic suggests that Sophia Wilansky may have been the female authorities saw wounded in the explosion of a propane canister-based improvised explosive device.
If the shrapnel recovered from Sophia Wilansky’s body matches that from the evidence recovered from the scene, then there seems to be sufficient evidence to bring charges of attempted murder and domestic terrorism against her for attempting to use a bomb against law enforcement officers.