BLM Protester Sues After Trump’s ‘Terror Campaign Against Portlanders’

A protester was grabbed on the street by camouflaged government agents and pushed into an unbranded pickup truck during the federal crackdown on Black Lives Matter protests in Portland filed The lawsuit claims her core constitutional rights have been violated.

In mid-July 2020, Evelyn Bassi was caught up in one of the darkest episodes of the Trump administration when she was grabbed by armed federal agents and detained in a truck against her will against her will. her and went insane before finally being released. Her new lawsuit claims that her “illegal abduction” was part of a “terrorist campaign against the people of Portland” organized by then-President Trump, intended to “threaten the public them and chilling freedom of speech.”

She is seeking restitution and punitive damages.

After the murder of George Floyd in late May 2020, Portland has turned into a hotbed of nightly protests. Black Lives Matter’s protest against police violence was opposed, ironically, by wave of police violence.

Images of civil unrest – including the toppling of statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson – gave Trump the prelude to a crackdown on “law and order”. The Department of Homeland Security launched “Operation Valor Diligence” in Portland at the end of June.

The ostensibly purpose of deploying armed DHS agents to Oregon’s largest city was to secure a federal courthouse downtown. But the impact of the emergence of coalitions from agencies like Border Patrol and ICE has been to ignite protests, and turn the barricades around the courthouse into a flashpoint where activists can’t wait to see what’s going on. The noisy action was countered by volleys of tear gas and lethal federal weapons. . (These eerie images of violence later appeared prominently in Trump’s re-election campaign ads.)

Federal officers – many of them federal investigation were later found to be ill-equipped and lack proper crowd control training – not limiting their activities to federal property. Above several timesFederal officials driving in unmarked pickup trucks grabbed protesters on city streets, arresting them with murky legal justifications.

Bassi filed a lawsuit in Oregon district court on May 20, claiming that her terrifying kidnapping violated First Amendment freedom of speech, Fourth Amendment rights against her unreasonable seizure and Fifth Amendment rights were due process.

As described in court filings, Bassi’s ordeal began shortly after midnight, in the early morning hours of July 15, 2020. She ended her protest and began returning home from downtown. when a dark gray, unmarked Dodge pickup truck with tinted windows was pulled. beside her and a companion.

The occupants had opened the passenger side doors and Bassi could see them wearing “camouflage clothing” and carrying weapons. The men were not identified and Bassi didn’t know if they were law enforcement or local police, but she raised her hand and told the men she was leaving.

Separated from her friend, Bassi attempted to flee from the pickup truck, which turned around to stop her. A pair of camouflaged officers with yellow stickers that read “POLICE” jumped out of the car, arrested Bassi and pushed her into the vehicle, ordering her to sit cross-legged on the floor, “holding a helmet in both hands.” and bowed. ”

The officers have yet to be identified. “They appear to be soldiers in a war zone,” the complaint reads, adding that Bassi feared for his life. She “didn’t know if she would ever see her family and friends again,” the profile reads. “She was worried that she would never see her son again.”

After driving erratically around the city center for nearly 10 minutes, the truck stopped. The agents asked Bassi to get out of the car, claim compensation, and Bassi was told to put her hands on the roof, after which she went mad. The officers questioned her about whether she had a laser pointer. (She didn’t.)

The street robbery appears to be motivated by a case of mistaken identity. Finally, an officer informed her, “You are in custody because you match the description of someone who committed a federal crime against an officer.”

But the’s a man of the officers The appearance he was looking for was a man with blond hair. Bassi is a transgender woman with brown hair. “That’s not him,” one officer said after removing Bassi’s helmet. The agents quickly left Bassi on the street in a daze, and then drove off after warning, “You know, man, we have cameras everywhere.”

Bassi’s complaint describes her traumatized by the event – insomnia, vomiting and difficulty working. She was diagnosed with PTSD and “still struggles to sleep more than 3 hours a night,” the filing reads.

The legal complaint is filed against the still-unidentified agents who kidnapped Bassi, as well as dozens of other officers and leaders in the DHS chain of command who authorized or supervised or participated into the illegal federal arrest of protesters.

The lawsuit claims that the Trump administration targeted protesters without any valid law enforcement purposes and instead engaged in “forcible disappearance” – a crime under international law. economy more familiar in authoritarian regimes.

It cites a definition from Amnesty International that describes coercive disappearance as a strategy to instill feelings of “insecurity and fear” not only in affected individuals but across the board as a whole. community. “The defendants targeted Plaintiffs for arrest not because they had probable cause, but because they wanted to sow terror,” the lawsuit states, “and prevent the right to speech from being protected. ”

Read the full complaint embedded below: BLM Protester Sues After Trump’s ‘Terror Campaign Against Portlanders’

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