Lawsuit: Protester “Wall of Moms” alleges police brutality, sexual assault at the demonstration in Portland
An attorney who participated in a Wall of Moms protest against overly militarized federal agents has filed a lawsuit against the US government claiming she was subjected to excessive violence and then arrested for no reason.
The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit was filed by Jennifer Kristiansen.
Kristiansen’s complaint, filed in federal court in Portland, Oregon, claims that she was also sexually assaulted by a government official. Kristiansen recounts how a federal agent pressed her to a wall while she was being arrested and then felt her breasts and buttocks.
The encounter was so harrowing, Kristiansen, that she feared she would be raped by the officer.
The lawsuit names the defendants:
- Gabriel Russel, the regional director of the Federal Protection Service of the Ministry of Homeland Security
- Multiple homeland security regulators
- At least 29 agents on the ground who were not individually named because they did not wear badges or other IDs during the protests against the “Wall of Moms”
The Associated Press reports on Kristiansen’s claims.
In her complaint, Kristiansen says she went for a walk with about 100 other Wall of Moms protesters in Portland.
It was the third night of the Wall of Moms protests, with mothers locking their arms and standing in a wall-like formation, protesting police brutality and showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Black Lives Matter protesters. Image via Flickr / User: Tony Webster. (CCA-BY-2.0)
After reaching federal court in Portland, Kristiansen said that unidentified federal officials began to dispense red “chemical agents” along with stun grenades into the crowd.
Federal agents then began to crack down on the protesters to billy clubs. An agent confronted Kristiansen, accusing her – a 100-pound woman – of beating him or trying to beat him.
“After the Defendant John Doe 63 climbed the steps of the courthouse but before entering its doors, he injured Ms. Kristiansen by first pressing her face against the courthouse wall,” the lawsuit said. “MS. Kristiansen feared for her safety and believed that if Defendant John Doe 63 molested her while blocking her view and pressing her against the wall, she would be raped. He grabbed her chest and with him with his left hand his right hand for her skirt and grab her buttocks. “
Kristiansen then went to a holding facility where she was denied food and water.
Kristiansen was detained for one night and most of the following day before being accused of assaulting a federal official.
A later review of the video footage corroborated Kristiansen’s claim that she did not shake hands with any of the crowd control officers. A federal judge agreed with her argument and dismissed all claims against her.
The lawsuit, according to The Associated Press, is now seeking unspecified punitive damages.
The lawsuit describes the night of fear for the Wall of Moms protesters
Wall of Moms is suing federal agencies for protest violence in Portland