Street medics ‘targeted, attacked’; ACLU sues

2020 Protests

Homeland Security, Marshals Service, City of Portland named in suit

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the US Marshals Service and the City of Portland for “targeting and attacking” volunteer street medics at the ongoing demonstrations.

Jessica Schifflett, one of the field medics who’s been helping the injured at protests nightly, responded to help Donovan Labella after he was severely injured by an impact munition fired by a federal officer. She said protesters aren’t the only ones under fire.

“In the moment, you can’t really let yourself panic. But here is an underlying anger. It’s very overwhelming and it’s traumatizing,” Schiflett said. “They actually target press and medics. We get arrested a lot just by trying to treat people on the ground, shot at while trying to treat somebody, which is obviously a war crime.”

Chris Wise, another field medic, said the tear gas “for the most part, if you get a good lungful, it will drop you. I have ashtma. The early days of the protest it dropped me on the ground. People had to pick me up.”

He said he’s been targeted by police and federal agents with rubber bullets, flash bang grenades, pepper bullets, riot batons and tear gas. He said Tuesday night a federal agent shot him in the head with what he believes is a tear gas canister.

But, he said, “I’m going back out tonight. Every night until it’s done.”

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