A total of 26 people were injured seriously enough to require transport to area hospitals.

Share story

One reason the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had repeatedly asked the Obama Administration to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline was to stop the violence against demonstrators by police.

The Morton County  Sheriff’s office in North Dakota has repeatedly stated that its push back is necessary because while most demonstrators are peaceful, some have started fires, thrown rocks, burning logs, and feces at officers; and even in one case shot at police. No one was injured by the shooting.

Tribal leaders have objected to the police response, which they say is out of proportion to the mostly peaceful protests.

Conflict has been escalating since last October, as police used rubber bullets, tear gas, billy clubs, pepper spray and even fire hoses in freezing weather during one particularly violent clash the night of Nov. 20.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday announced it would not provide the last easement needed to run the pipeline under the Missouri River. Protesters were ecstatic at the news but not ready to break camp, citing the chance that President-elect Donald Trump could reverse that decision.

Law enforcement and protesters clash near the site of the Dakota Access pipeline on Sunday, Nov. 20, in Cannon Ball, N.D. The clash came as protesters sought to push past a bridge on a state highway that had been blockaded since late October, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Office. (Morton County Sheriff’s Office)
Law enforcement and protesters clash near the site of the Dakota Access pipeline on Sunday, Nov. 20, in Cannon Ball, N.D. The clash came as protesters sought to push past a bridge on a state highway that had been blockaded since late October, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Office. (Morton County Sheriff’s Office)

Victory Lonnquist of Seattle is a volunteer medic at Standing Rock, helping the tribe since last summer in its fight against the pipeline.

Lonnquist was on the front lines of the face off  with law enforcement that freezing night, in which more than 300 people had to be treated for hypothermia after police blasted them with a fire hose, or for chemical contamination due to heavy exposure to pepper spray and tear gas. A total of 26 people were injured seriously enough to require transport  to area hospitals.

This video shows some of what Lonnquist and protesters, who call themselves Water Protectors, experienced that night.