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ACLU sues federal agencies, Portland police for attacking volunteer medics at protests

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday filed a lawsuit on behalf of volunteer medics alleging that local and federal law enforcement officials have targeted and attacked them at protests in Portland, Ore.

“In well-documented incidents, police and federal agents brutally attacked volunteer medics with rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, batons, and flash-bangs,” the ACLU said in a release announcing the lawsuit

The lawsuit argues that law enforcement attacks on the volunteer medics violates the First and 14th Amendments, and the ACLU is seeking a court order prohibiting law enforcement from targeting and attacking medics again. 

Savannah Guest, a volunteer medic and plaintiff in the case, was seen in a video “being attacked by federal agents as Guest provided aid to an incapacitated bystander,” according to the ACLU. Guest called the interaction “terrifying.” 

“Every human being deserves help, but the federal agents showed no humanity or concern,” Guest said in the ACLU release. 

Spokespeople for the Portland Police Department, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Marshals Service were not immediately available for comment. 

This is the second lawsuit the ACLU of Oregon has filed against the city of Portland and the Trump administration over the officials’ response to the protests. The ACLU filed a lawsuit last week after DHS and the U.S. Marshals services deployed agents to quell demonstrations in Portland.

Democrats, including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, have condemned the use of federal agents in the city. Wheeler has argued the federal officials are leading to more violence in the city. 

Tags ACLU American Civil Liberties Union Oregon police brutality Portland Portland protests

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