Vanessa Dundon’s retina was severed in her right eye after law enforcement shot a tear gas canister at her face
A witness claims that an officer pointed Dundon out before another officer fired the canister
Dundon has been at Standing Rock since September 11 and has had no arrests or injuries up to this point
Dundon is a first responder for the frontline
On Sunday, November 20, water protectors in Standing Rock faced an onslaught of attacks led by Morton County Sheriff’s Department. The aftermath resulted in nearly 200 injured, one elder that went into cardiac arrest, and a 21-year-old woman who may lose her arm.
Sophia Wilansky became known around the world after a concussion grenade discharged by law enforcement blew up on her arm. Wilansky now faces the possibility of losing her arm, as she goes through over a dozen surgeries in an attempt to avoid amputation. A Go Fund Me was set up for Wilansky that raised over $350,000 to help with medical bills.
Wilansky was not the only person that received a life-changing injury Sunday night. Vanessa Dundon was on the Blackwater Bridge that night as well, where she was shot in the eye with a tear gas canister, then shot in the back with a rubber bullet as she tried to run away.
Dundon, better known as “Sioux Z,” has been at Standing Rock since September 11. She works on the frontline as first respond rescue. If someone gets injured on the frontline, Dundon will run in and get that person to safety. But being a first responder is not her only responsibility. Dundon also removes people that shouldn’t be on the frontline, either because they are acting as an agitator towards police, or for their personal safety.
Dundon was at the bridge when the water protectors were attempting to remove the two burnt trucks that police have been using as a makeshift barricade. As the trucks were being removed from the bridge, police opened fire on the water protectors.
Officers point Dundon out
It was during this attack that Dundon heard a cry for help. A female member of the media that Dundon had not seen before needed to get off the bridge. Dundon went to get the woman off the bridge, and that is when she claims an officer fired a tear gas canister directly at her. The canister hit her in her right eye.
After being hit with the tear gas canister, Dundon grabbed the bandana off of her head to put over her eye. She turned to run off the bridge, and that is when she was shot in the back with a rubber bullet, at which point she fell to the ground. Dundon said after that, two other first responders had to pick her up and carry her off the bridge.
A witness claims that an officer pointed directly at Dundon before another officer fired the canister. Water protectors have claimed that it is common for officers to point out specific people in the crowd before firing rubber bullets into the crowd.
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