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Protesting Wall Street
Wed November 23, 2011
Update: Seattle PD investigating Occupy protester's claims of miscarriage
The Seattle Police Department is investigating the claims of an Occupy Seattle protester that Seattle police officers are responsible for her miscarriage, according to The Seattle Times.
Occupy protester Jennifer Fox, 19, claims one officer hit her in the stomach with his foot, while another pushed a bicycle into the crowd again hitting her in the stomach, followed by an assault of pepper spray, according to an interview by The Stranger.
However, doubts about the woman's claims have begun to surface.
Because of the "seriousness of her allegations," police spokesman Mark Jamieson told the Times. "Their goal is to find any — any — info that supports her claims," he said. "You have to take her word."
“Right before I turned, both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me,” she told The Stranger. “My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut.”
A YouTube video of Fox shows her in crying and screaming in distress from what she claims was an attack by Seattle police.
Doubts about claims
Many news organizations around the world were reporting the claims of the miscarriage, however Fox has not yet provided medical records to the media to back up the allegation.
Also, the Seattle news Website Publicola is reporting that according to a report and a department source, Fox was one of six people contacted by Seattle police for trespassing at a former Greyhound maintenance facility near Capitol Hill two months ago.
When police arrived at the facility and contacted the group, Publicola reports, Fox — who gave police a false last name, according to SPD records — that she was three months pregnant and began crying and “holding her stomach, screaming it hurt,” a police report says.
KING 5 TV reports that Fox said she is holding a memorial for her baby on Saturday. After that, Fox said she would consider showing the hospital records to KING 5. Fox said she had spoken with attorneys who represent Occupy Seattle. Both SPD and the City Attorney's office told KING that they have not received any formal complaint from Fox or Occupy's attorneys.
Protest ends in violence
Five days after police broke up the Occupy protest at the intersection of 5th Ave. and Pine St. in Seattle – during which an 84-year-old woman, Dorli Rainey, was pepper sprayed and an imagine of her suffering made international news – Fox said she went to the hospital because of stomach pain.
Fox told The Washington Post: “They diagnosed that I was having a miscarriage. They said the damage was from the kick and that the pepper spray got to [the fetus], too.”
Fox, previously homeless, now has been staying in the Occupy Seattle camps since the beginning of the Westlake Park demonstration was three months pregnant when the alleged attack occurred. Her heartbreaking story gathered sympathy when she spoke with the One Angry Queer blogger.
“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.” Fox told the blogger. “Her name was going to be Miracle.”
On the Web:
National Occupy news
The riot-clad police officer who pepper sprayed a row of peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters at a California university last week is a retired U.S. Marines sergeant twice honored for his police work on campus. Lt. John Pike started working for the University of California, Davis police force in 2001. Pike has been honored twice for meritorious service, including a 2006 incident when he decided against using pepper spray against a patient in the campus hospital who was threatening his colleagues with scissors. But an alleged anti-gay slur by Pike also figured in a discrimination lawsuit a former police officer filed against the department, which ended in a $240,000 settlement in 2008.
Occupy Wall Street marchers who’ve marched 230 miles from New York have arrived in McPherson Square, The Washington Post reports. They’ll be marching to Freedom Plaza and establishing a temporary occupation on the National Mall, according to an earlier press release from the group.