Law officers respond to suit over pipeline protester injury

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Law enforcement officials in North Dakota say they aren’t to blame for a severe arm injury a New York City woman sustained while protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

They’re asking a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit Sophia Wilansky filed seeking millions of dollars in damages for alleged excessive force, assault, negligence, emotional distress and defamation.

Wilansky alleges her left arm was injured by a police flashbang device in November 2016. And she says law enforcement made untrue and defamatory public statements about her allegedly carrying an explosive device.

Police maintain her injury was caused by a propane canister protesters rigged to explode. And they say they can’t be sued over statements about news events released to the public by law officers as part of their official duties.

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