Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Pregnant Occupy Seattle Protester, Kicked And Pepper-Sprayed By Cops, Loses Baby

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 22, 2011

And now we have, in addition to the figurative miscarriages of justice connected to police violence against Occupy protesters, a literal miscarriage as well, as Jennifer Fox has just lost the fetus she was carrying, five days after being kicked and hit in the stomach by Seattle police:

“I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in,” she says. “I was screaming, ‘I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out.'” At that point, Fox continues, a Seattle police officer lifted his foot and it hit her in the stomach, and another officer pushed his bicycle into the crowd, again hitting Fox in the stomach. “Right before I turned, both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me. My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut,” she says.

Fox asked for medical attention—the now-famous photo by Josh Trujillo of her being carried to the ambulance is here (click to the second photo)—and was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, she says, where doctors performed an ultrasound and said that they “didn’t see anything wrong with the baby at the time.” Fox says she had also seen a physician at Harborview for prenatal care about five week before.

“Everything was going okay until yesterday, when I started getting sick, cramps started, and I felt like I was going to pass out,” Fox says.

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.”

If she can get her doctors to say this in writing and on the record, there will be hell to pay for the Seattle Police Department.
Charles adds, 11/23: Dominic Holden, who originally reported this for The Stranger, has developed doubts about the veracity of Jennifer Fox’s claims. However, his reasons are thin: she has said she was either one, two, or three months pregnant. Uncertainty about how far advanced a pregnancy is is not too unusual. She hasn’t yet filed a complaint. Again, not necessarily unusual. Holden might be surprised to learn that women who lose a wanted pregnancy are grieving a death, and don’t necessarily respond well to having papers thrust at them with a demand that they prove their claim. If they are planning to file a complaint, they might even want to talk to an attorney. It’s hard to see any advantage to Fox for making up the story and carrying it to the lengths she has, including holding a service. Without medical evidence, she cannot prevail in a claim against the city.

But, ok: suppose she is just making this up. The fact remains that the police did not know whether she was pregnant or not when they started swinging sticks and spraying people with pepper spray. They behaved recklessly. When they are not facing any threat, as was the case in Portland, they should treat everyone as if they might be causing irreparable harm.
Charles adds, 12/31: I cannot find any evidence that Fox has substantiated her claim of a miscarriage. However, there is one indication that she wasn’t confabulating. A Seattle blogger said he saw a medical report supporting her claim. But this remains an unfinished story.
Charles adds, 11/13/12: As far as I can determine, there have been no further developments.

22 Responses to “Pregnant Occupy Seattle Protester, Kicked And Pepper-Sprayed By Cops, Loses Baby”

  1. MEC said

    I immediately wondered whether the establishment news media would report this. The Washington Post has a blog post that takes a cautious approach to the story but doesn’t dismiss it outright. Forbes also has it, and though the blog post notes that proof of the miscarriage hasn’t yet been produced, the blogger says it’s bad enough that the police pepper-sprayed a pregnant woman: “The point is, I think, that the police have been operating pretty indiscriminately in their response to these protests. It doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant, elderly, or just sitting there, the cops have been responding to protests with overwhelming and entirely unnecessary force.”

    • Keith said

      It appears this womens story has got some hair on it. She gave a follow up interview to a local Radio reporter from 97.3 FM in Seattle where the reporter talked to her about a police report where she was arrested for squating at a property from Sept. of this year. She also claimed in the police report at that time to be three months pregnant. In the interview she tells the reporter that the police got it wrong in their report and that she said she was “one” month pregnant not three. She then goes on to tell how she was carrying twins and had gotten beat up (not by the evil police this time) and lost one of the twins. She then says the doctors were guessing that she had twins?!? She does not sound credible. Check out the radio interview. As far as I know she has never produced any medical evidence to back up her story. I think it is important to make sure accusations against anybody are checked out to see if they are true.

      • Charles II said

        Keith,it would be helpful if you would link the evidence of your claims, Saying, I heard something on the radio and I disbelieve her isn’t evidence.

        Since I do actually care whether she’s telling the truth or not, I looked back at the original report on The Stranger, and the update does support what you say. I will be adding a correction to the post.

        I would still wait a while before reaching any judgment. I don’t think there’s any doubt she was walloped hard enough to get sent to the hospital, and pepper sprayed. It’s hard to see much motivation for her to lie, since she couldn’t succeed in a claim against the city without medical evidence. But at MercRising, we always defer to reality.

      • Keith said

        Good point, thanks Charles II

      • Charles II said

        I should have been more appreciative, Keith. I was feeling a little grumpy after having to field a trollish post from a different visitor. I am grateful for a chance to keep the record straight.

      • Keith said

        No problem Charles II

  2. Charles II said

    This would have been homicide under legislation proposed by the religious right. As it is, it’s probably punishable by civil tort and a significant fine against the city of Seattle. I hope that she–and everyone treated so outrageously– pursues that remedy.

  3. Mike said

    Wow. I can’t beleive the tone of this post. First, the “miscarriage of justice” lead was pretty tasteless. Then, the closer:

    “If she can get her doctors to say this in writing and on the record, there will be hell to pay for the Seattle Police Department.”

    Aside from the fact that I believe when something happens at a hospital they do in fact write it down, your empathy for this woman just leaps off the page. How do you think it will effect the stock prices of companies that make pepper spray?

  4. Jack Cain said

    uniformed pieces of s***; the various Occupy movements will ultimately prove SO expensive 4 city gov’mnts that the people will hold city budgets over a barrel & cities will respond by eliminating services, like those paid “to protect & serve”

    • Charles II said

      Or, of course, the cities could stop violating the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances and go about doing the legitimate work of local government, saving all sorts of money for tasks like arresting actual criminals.

      Yes, I know, it’s a very difficult choice whether to respect the Constitution or treat it like toilet paper. The reason this country is such a mess is because so few Americans understand what this country is about.

      • Of course, some people are still allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights, even when they do so while carrying firearms. The same Phoenix police that arrest unarmed Occupy protesters had no problems with an armed Tea Partier standing within shooting distance of President Obama.

      • Charles II said

        Yes. Conservatives are so oppressed, aren’t they.

      • Polly said

        The Second Amendment is part of the Constitution, too, and that is the right the TEA Party attendee was exercising. As was/is the case with all TEA Party events so far, no one defied the police or failed to obey a lawful order.

        If the man with the gun was “within shooting distance of President Obama” (which I somehow doubt, given the Secret Service protection with the president at all times), and if he was being watched, the president was safe. It would be impossible to get that rifle off his shoulder and aim it at the president before he was tackled by dozens of burly protectors. But as you may have noticed, there was no attempt to use the gun.

        Sorry folks, but the TEA Party people are more civilized than the OWS people; cops at TEA Party events are mostly bored to death and never accosted, even verbally. The OWSers could learn something from the TEA Partiers–as soon as they figure out what it is they’re trying to achieve.

  5. Charles II said

    Yes, Polly, the Tea Partiers are so polite they spit on Congressmen and call them the N word and the F word. I realize that FOX “News” persists in the fiction that this didn’t happen, but it’s pretty obvious from the video that it did.

    The interpretation of the Second Amendment that permits carry anywhere is pretty recent and only possible in a political atmosphere where two right-wing perjurers, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito sit on the Supreme Court.

    Simply having a gun at a political rally endangers political figures because it diverts Secret Service attention away from protection the president. I happen to be pro-gun rights, but what has emerged in this country are militias a lot more reminiscent of death squads in Latin American countries than it is of the American tradition. When a Tea Party candidate for the Senate warns about “Second Amendment remedies,” the lawlessness and violence is made plain.

    And, yes, I speak with certain knowledge of the American tradition, since my ancestors founded this country. They would be appalled by the shallow, historically ignorant, and simply stone-headed stupid things that the Tea Party stands for.

    So celebrate injustice and violence. It leads to Abbadon (Isa. 5:20-25).

    • Polly said

      So you’re pretty certain the OWSers are more orderly, polite and well-mannered than the TEA Partiers? And comfortable with the way the MSM has treated the TEA Party movement as compared to the OWSers?

      Believe the myths–spitting on Congressmen, shouting the N-word; NO video or audio exhibits either.

      It’s quite clear from your description of Thomas and Alito where you stand on Americans’ rights, and why you feel a kinship with the OWSers.

      Now, can you say in one sentence exactly what result the OWSers seek? And another to describe how we will know when that result has been achieved? Maybe one more to tell exactly WHO will pay to clean up their messes? Will it be the 1%, or will it be the 53%?

  6. Charles II said

    Polly. your claim that “Believe the myths–spitting on Congressmen, shouting the N-word; NO video or audio exhibits either. ” is a lie that stinks like dead fish.

    I linked the video of Congressman Cleaver being spat upon. At 1:26, one can clearly see the Congressman react involuntarily. While one can’t make out the epithets being hurled at the Congressmen filing past, they have stated clearly that they were so abused. Every fact I have presented is supported by a link to a published news story–including the fact that Thomas and Alito are perjurers. I don’t stand in awe of the right-wing echo chamber that the Tea Party uses to imagine that the country actually supports them. It does not. Outside of the far right, the Tea Party is about as popular as bubonic plague.

    Now, if you want to deny the existence of plain facts, that’s your right. But you will not do this on this site, because this site respects the truth and will waste no time on people who just want to lie.

    The rest of your post is simply nonsense.

    1) The message of Occupy Wall Street is very plain: “Too few people–the very wealthy– have too much power, and this is destroying the country.”
    2) Yes, I am quite certain that OWS is better behaved than the Tea Party. The Tea Party–which never mustered anywhere near the number of people or lasted in the streets as long as the Occupy movement has–never faced the sort of abuse that the Occupy movement has. If the Tea Party had been beaten, tear gassed, unjustly jailed, and otherwise treated like non-humans, what would they have done? Would a few people have lost it, maybe? And for that matter, of the incidents that get recycled in right wing TV, how many of them are actually people in the Occupy Movement? Do you know that in New York, police have reportedly sent homeless people and drug addicts to the encampment? Did they do that to the Tea Party? No, of course not, because the Tea Party is a bunch of spoiled brats with a sense of entitlement, not people willing to endure a lot of pain to make it clear that they are non-violent.

    So, yes, one can easily tell where I stand on American rights. I stand not just for the right to own a gun, but for the whole Bill of Rights, the whole Constitution. And I stand for telling the truth, not just reeling off the lies of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

    You, apparently, stand for a nation run by thugs and for telling whatever lies are convenient.

    • Polly said

      I’m a little parrot.
      Watch me squawk!
      If I couldn’t repeat my master’s lies,
      I couldn’t even talk.

      (edited slightly by siteowner for clarity)

      • Charles II said

        You may be unaware of this, Polly, but we have rules on this site. They are applied independent of partisan leanings.

        When you are warned by a site administrator that you’re engaging in unacceptable behavior, that’s an extremely good time to stop. I have logged the original post, which is completely off-topic and non-responsive to the facts that have been brought to your attention. You have been given one direct warning and one clear demonstration that you only post here because you are allowed to post here.

        There are further steps which can be taken if trolls wish to be stubborn. Your IP has been logged and a screen shot saved to disk. So, as one step, that IP can be blocked. Then, for very determined trolls, the screenshot can be sent to your Internet Service Provider with a request that they enforce terms of service.

        I trust I have made myself clear.

      • Polly said

        Clear enough, Charles. I shouldn’t have glommed on to the anti-TEA Party part of the discussion. I just hate to let misapprehensions stand. Looks like I’ll just have to learn to ignore them.


      • Charles II said

        Not a problem, Polly. I’m glad that you can see my point of view.

        Any on-topic and factually-supported comments are welcome. Even if I don’t agree with people, I believe that the only way that the very polarized sides will come together is if they talk .

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