Congressional Candidate Shot With Rubber Bullet While Interviewing Dakota Pipeline Protesters

Photo via AP.
Photo via AP.

A Congressional candidate who was interviewing protesters at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota was shot in the back with a rubber bullet Thursday in an incident caught on camera.

Erin Schrode, a 25-year-old activist who is running for Congress in California, was interviewing a Native American man about his opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline, which cuts through Native American land and has prompted fierce protests resulting in more than 400 arrests since August.

In the video, which was posted to Facebook, the interview is interrupted by a loud popping noise prompting Schrode to cry out in pain.


“Who the fuck did that?” one bystander yells. Several others ask Schrode if she’s okay before the video cuts out.

Though it is not immediately clear from the video from where the shots were fired, Schrode said she is sure it was a police officer. She tells the New York Daily News she turned around to see an officer “still pointing the barrel of his rubber bullet gun at her.”

“I can’t tell you why they targeted me,” she said in the interview. “My back was to them, there was no violence, there was no aggression. It’s atrocious.”

On Facebook, Schrode says the shot was fired by one of hundreds of “militarized police” who were using rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray and batons in an attempt to stop other protesters from holding a prayer circle in the water Thursday. She also names in the post several witnesses who she says can corroborate her account.


“I was standing innocently onshore, not making any aggressive gestures, never exchanging a single word with the police who fired at my lower back from their boat. ” Schrode wrote. “I was shot at pointblank range, dozens were maced and pepper sprayed in the face, hundreds faced freezing waters. There were no arrests or deaths and I will be okay physically, but the safety and wellbeing of many peoples and lands remain in danger, for present and future generations.”

Former Gawker news editor

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I am so profoundly disappointed in Obama’s cowardly response to this outrage. He could halt construction while the Army Corp of Engineers completes its study on rerouting the pipeline. But that would put the government on the side of citizens over oil, and that’s a dangerous precedent, apparently! Total CHICKEN-SHIT. Look at the Malheur occupation, and look at how we treat unarmed indigenous water protectors, and tell me that the federal government isn’t STILL on the wrong side of environmental racism. Blatantly racist hypocrisy, that is absolutely morally and logically indefensible.

He basically said, “let’s see how this plays out” and “both sides should be more respectful”, which translates to “$10 million worth of militarized police violating civil rights and people praying and singing? Eh, roughly equally violent. I could intervene, but nah; this will be over soon if we keep ignoring it.”