Protesters file class action suit against DHS, Chad Wolf

2020 Protests

Suit wants actions declared unconstitutional, seeks unspecified damages

Protester Angelica Clark during a July 25, 2020 protest in Portland (Photo released August 24, 2020 by Anderson Strategic)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A class action lawsuit was filed against Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf by 4 people who protested and were injured in some fashion by federal agents in downtown Portland.

The 4 protesters — Rowan Maher, Angelica Clark, Nathaniel West and Ellen Urbani Gass — claim the federal agents used excessive force in their interactions with protesters in July 2020. They say the federal officers were illegally deployed to Portland and that they acted outside of their authority.

The lawsuit wants the Trump Administration’s actions through Wolf, DHS official Ken Cuccinelli and the federal agents declared unconstitutional. They ask for an unspecified amount of “compensatory and punitive” damage to each “peaceful protester subjected to chemical munitions.”

Maher, 25, is a legal assistant in Portland. Clark, 28, is the mother of two from Milwaukie. Gass, 51, is an author from West Linn. West, 43, is the founder of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, according to a release.

West said he was with his 16-year-old daughter at a protest when crowd control munitions exploded near them and caused the teen to suffer significant hearing loss.

Maher said she was teargassed, beaten with a baton, and shot in the head by a less-lethal munition, blowing a hole in her bicycle helmet.

Gass said she was wearing a walking cast from a broken ankle when a federal agent shot her good foot out from under her, breaking a bone.

Clark said she was shot in the hand with munition on July 25, beaten with a baton and maced by federal agents while trying to walk away from the violence.

Rowan Maher shows her bike helmet she said was damaged by a federal agent during a July 2020 protest. (Photo released August 24, 2020 by Anderson Strategic)

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