What occurred on Sunday night at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation was a brutal use of force that showed the true colors of the oil companies backing the Dakota Access Pipeline and local police. It's been clear which side the police have been on from the start, but up until now the assault on protesters has been relatively mild and spread out.
However, on Sunday night, chaos ensued when law enforcement pulled out all the stops in an effort to persuade the protesters to end their fight. Police used rubber bullets, water cannons, and concussion grenades to cause "nonlethal harm" to the water protectors, but the damage inflicted was massive.
Police reportedly shot a 13-year-old girl in the face with rubber bullets, vindictively shot a man at point blank range in the belly button and knee caps with a smile on their face, and caused two elderly tribe members to go into cardiac arrest. They used water cannons to hose down the protesters trying to move past a barricaded bridge and many of them were sent to the hospital for hypothermia because of the subfreezing temperatures.
Concussion grenades are nonlethal explosives that stun victims and leave them without their senses temporarily as it releases a blinding flash of light accompanied by a piercing bang. Though local police deny using them during this attack, evidence of their use has been brought forward by one woman who was critically injured by one. A 21-year-old woman was hit directly in the arm with one, which caused "all of the muscle and soft tissue between her elbow and wrist [to be] blown away," her father lamented. If her multiple surgeries don't go away, she will need to have her arm amputated.