A 19-year old Seattle woman says Seattle Police pepper sprayed and kicked her in the stomach, and she says has now miscarried.
“Occupy Seattle has seen its fair share of action, with the now-viral image of Dorli Rainey, 84, becoming an iconic symbol of the oppression this movement has begun to face,” writes Ian Awesome. “There were other victims, however, at the pepper-spraying that took place on the evening of the 15th of November.”
One of them is Jennifer Fox, 19, an Occupier who has been with the demonstration since it began operations at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle. Previously homeless, she now sleeps every night at the Occupation, grateful for a safe place to lay her head. She is not just here because Occupy Seattle provides her shelter, however. She has participated in every march since the beginning of the movement and identifies with its goals.
“We deserve to have a change and I felt like Occupy Seattle needed more people to participate.”
What’s remarkable about the attack on Fox that evening is that she is three months pregnant. She was the victim of several brutal attacks that evening on the part of police, to include being pepper sprayed twice and hit in the stomach with a cop’s bike during the fray that occurred when police indiscriminately (and without provocation) sprayed protesters. She was rushed to the hospital as soon as the Occupation was able to summon an ambulance, but she says that police prevented her from leaving the scene even though she told them she was pregnant.
“I shouted ‘I’m pregnant, I don’t want to get hurt, please let me through!’ They didn’t cooperate.”
She has since visited the hospital once more and received heartbreaking news. On the 20th, Fox received news that she has miscarried, and alleges the miscarriage is due to the injuries she received during the police action on the 15th.
“It hurts. It’s upsetting. I was ready to have a kid, because my family was going to support me in taking care of the child. Her name was going to be Miracle.”
A friend called for an ambulance near the community college campus. (Fox says she has been camping with Occupy Seattle since it first began in Westlake Park. She is homeless and says, “I don’t have a place. This is the place I call home.”) When she arrived at Harborview at 11:00 a.m., she says, a doctor told her that “there was no heartbeat” from the baby. “They diagnosed that I was having a miscarriage. They said the damage was from the kick and that the pepper spray got to it [the fetus], too.”
As for joining the protests, she says, “I was worried about it, but I didn’t know it would be this bad. I didn’t know that a cop would murder a baby that’s not born yet… I am trying to get lawyers.”
I repeatedly asked Fox if she could provide any medical records that confirm the miscarriage or that the clash with police officers caused it. She did not have copies but says she asked her case worker at Harborview to provide her with records (I’ll continue to ask for follow-up evidence and post if and when Fox provides those records). Harboview officials say they cannot provide any information, of course, except that medical records would mention those details. The Seattle Police Department did not immediately respond to request for comment.
It’s certainly going to be easy for some to look at the details here and claim there’s no relationship between the miscarriage and the police actions. It’s certainly going to be easy for some to say this is a homeless woman and dismiss her claims. It’s also easy to note that 61 people have died as a result of pepper spray, and it’s not difficult to wonder, sadly, if this miscarriage is the 62nd death.
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