During the protests outside the Hatfield Courthouse in downtown Portland this summer, federal agents and police indiscriminately deployed chemical weapons designed to stop the protests.
Chemical weapons are designed to inflict pain. And they do that well. They were used to quell protests and inflict pain on protesters. In that sense, their use is indefensible.
But it gets worse.
The county jail is adjacent to the protest site. Most of the people held there are being detained pending trial.
The chemical weapons repeatedly entered the jail through the ventilation system, and people incarcerated there were repeatedly contaminated by these chemicals. Unlike protesters who could run away from gas, people incarcerated while awaiting trial can’t move. Their stories are harrowing.
We filed suit today to stand up for people who were harmed by chemical weapons while being held at the Multnomah County jail. The case is Davis v. Multnomah County, US District Court Case No. 3:20-CV-2041. A copy of the complaint, which provides much more detail, is here: Davis v. Multnomah Co Complaint