Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 12, 2018

FBI Destroyed Evidence -- Sophia's Arm Blown Apart at Backwater Bridge -- Court Document

Sophia Wilansky after being struck by police projectile
Graphic image of shattered arm here.

(Above and below) Water Protectors at Backwater Bridge

FBI Destroyed Evidence after Sophia Wilansky's Arm was Blown Apart at Backwater Bridge -- Federal Lawsuit Filed in Minneapolis

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

MINNEAPOLIS -- The FBI has destroyed vital evidence which would have revealed what munition blew apart the arm of Sophia Wilansky, 21, when she stood at Standing Rock in North Dakota, and peacefully defended the Missouri River from Dakota Access Pipeline.
It was just before dawn on November, 21, 2016 when Sophia's arm was blown to pieces.
More than a year has passed since Sophia began a series of traumatic surgeries to save her arm. A piece of shrapnel was found in her shattered arm.
The FBI has refused to return the evidence it took from her hospital room in Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where she was transferred from Bismarck, for its trauma center.
In Minneapolis, the FBI took clothing that Sophia was wearing when she was struck, and the shrapnel found in her arm that was blown to pieces.
According to the government's own documents, these items of evidence were destroyed during the FBI's testing.
The FBI has refused to return the evidence to Sophia, allow a chemical analysis of it, or respond to the family's requests for the evidence.
A federal lawsuit has been filed in Minneapolis for the return of Sophia's property.
The federal lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota on February 2, 2018, also states that a grand jury was convened in the investigation, and the person who transported Sophia to the hospital was subpoenaed.
However, the government then halted the grand jury. No one has been charged, despite a year long investigation.
The complaint states:

The FBI analyzed these items more than a year ago, and it took only two weeks for the analysis. The testing "degraded and permanently altered" the evidence:
When the FBI showed up at Sophia's hospital room, without a warrant, Sophia's father Wayne Wilansky acted in good faith. Wayne agreed to voluntarily allow the FBI to take the items. The FBI agreed in writing to return those items in a timely manner:

The court document also describes the array of so-called no-lethal weapons fired into the bodies of water protectors, as they stood to protect the drinking water of millions from the oil pipeline.
Pepper spray, sponge bullets, CS (tear gas) grenades, bean bags, stinger ball grenades and flash sound devices (concussion grenades) were fired into water protectors.
Numerous unarmed water protectors were seriously injured when they were hit by these projectiles fired by militarized police.
The court document states:
The court complaint also names those who are responsible, including the federal agencies involved, which includes Homeland Security, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Since the FBI has failed to respond and return the evidence, the family is asking the court to order that the evidence be returned, or make the items available to Sophia's chemist for analysis.

Both the U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI are named in the complaint. The case number is posted below:

Also see:
Dineh Marcus Mitchell 'Morton County shot out my eye at Standing Rock'

Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News


PaulieM said...

Had to use TinyURL to post this story on Twitter otherwise Twitter flags it as suspicious Keep Standing Up !

Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...

Thanks. Twitter has blocked the links of Censored News since we posted about the DAPL dog attack on water protectors in Sept. of 2016. Thank you for sharing our article.

Unknown said...


daelv said...

Yea Facebook is blocking any investigative journalism as spam. Or public instigation of questioning authority it seems.