ACLU Files Class-Action Lawsuit for the Use of Brute Force in Portland

ACLU Files Class-Action Lawsuit for the Use of Brute Force in Portland

The nation has been under deep stress as protests overtake several cities and states in America. People are exercising their first amendment rights to protest peacefully and securely without any hint of violence.

As you may know, this has not always been the case. Mayors have called their local police departments for backup to tackle unruly crowds. City governments have initiated curfews to no avail. Large crowds, in some instances, have ignored curfew warnings and stayed in America's streets passed midnight.

Governors have called the national guard to secure their state's businesses and statues. And as a last resort, President Trump has called the military to assist states in restoring law and order.

This wave of increased policing and military aggression has led to a rise of class-action lawsuits across America where peaceful protestors' civil rights have been increasingly violated.

Portland, Oregon

Four individuals were part of a chemical attack in Portland, Oregon, and have since filed a lawsuit against the federal government. The plaintiffs are Ellen Gass, Angelica Clark, Rowan Mayer, and Nathaniel West.

They protested in downtown Portland, Oregon, in July and were exposed to harsh treatment from federal agents. The protestors were struck by impact munitions and tear gas. Federal agents also beat the plaintiffs.

Attorneys have filed the lawsuit against the United States Department of Homeland Security with its acting secretary, Chad Wolf. Also, 200 federal law enforcement agents are named in the lawsuit.

The Allegations

The lawsuit claims that federal agents acted outside of their scope and authority. They used excessive force against the protestors of the Black Lives Matter stance. The federal agents, who were sent to control the violence from the Trump administration, failed to use de-escalation tactics. Instead, the tactics of the federal agents escalated the violence by failing to protect the rights of peaceful protestors.

Every night, law enforcement agents used a variety of aggressive crowd-control techniques against the protestors like flash-bang hand grenades. The military tactics made it difficult for people to see and leave the streets safely through the thick clouds and heavy smoke.

The federal agents also used equipment that was designed for a war zone against peaceful protestors who were not looting or destroying private property with fires and graffiti. Law enforcement personnel were using impact munitions and chemical agents against American citizens.

Angelica Clark

Federal agents beat Angelica Clark with a baton as she took part in more than twelve demonstrations. She is 28 years old. Furthermore, Clark was maced in the face, and federal agents shot her hand with a munition.

Rowan Maher

Maher, who is 25, and his daughter sustained severe physical impairments. He was tear-gassed and then shot in the head by munition. His daughter was beaten by a baton and hit in the head by an impact munition. Her bicycle helmet had a large hole in it from the munition.

Ellen Gass

Ellen Urbani Gass, age 51, was standing together with other mothers in a line when federal law enforcement sprayed pepper bullets into the crowd along with massive tear gas. A pepper bullet struck Gass into the foot and broke one of her bones.

Nathaniel West

Nathaniel West is 43 years old, and his daughter Beck is 16 years old. They both were protesting together at the Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse when federal agents fired tear gas and explosive munitions into the crowd. Both West and his daughter have hearing loss.

Donavan La Bella

A United States Fire Marshall fired munition at Donavan La Bella's head. He has a serious head injury and continues to recover. La Bella has retained the services of Chris Best. Best has filed a tort claim against the deputy federal official and the federal government.

The Federal Lawsuit

The American Civil Liberties Union filed this lawsuit on August 25 to combat the protestors' violation of their first, fourth, and fifth amendment rights. Protestors' rights were violated more than 90 days ago with the death of George Floyd on May 25. The prominent attorney representing the four original plaintiffs is David Sugarman. Six additional attorneys have been assigned to the class-action lawsuit.

Other defendants in the case include the Federal Protective Service, United States Customs and Border Protection, and the United States Marshals Service. Besides the 200 federal law enforcement officers, Kenneth Cuccinelli from the Department of Homeland Security is also a defendant.

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