A protest stunt at a June Warriors game meant to stand up for abortion rights, but allegedly ended with the spiking of a protester with a sedative, and that protester has enlisted famed civil rights attorney John Burris in a lawsuit against the city.
We’re proud to live in a city where someone pulled off an abortion rights protest at the unlikeliest of places, a Golden State Warriors Game 5 of the NBA Finals. But what allegedly happened after that is not something to be proud of. One of the protesters says she was injected with a sedative against her will after the protest, according to KGO.
And KRON4 reports that she’s filed a lawsuit and is represented by John Burris, so this is probably not the last we will hear of this story. Burris is the famed civil rights attorney who represented Rodney King, and more recently, the families of Oscar Grant, Mario Woods, and Sean Monterrosa, and he excels at creating headaches for law enforcement.
Video of the incident, or rather the incident’s prologue, can be seen above. At the June 13 Warriors game with a national TV audience, protester Kareim McKnight had a plan to unfurl a banner reading “Overturn Roe? Hell No!” She did exactly that, then walked down the Chase Center aisles chanting “Abortion on Demand and without apology. Without this basic right, women cannot be free. Rise up for abortion rights.”
And hey, you’re probably going to get roughed up if you do a political protest at a championship game in modern-day America, particularly one with a national TV audience. Protesters know that comes with the territory.
What does not come with the territory is getting your arm injected with a sedative, as McKnight alleges she was by SFPD and Fire Department personnel.
“Giving an injection to a protester against her will is shocking and illegal,” Burris said in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “In my entire career, I have never heard of a sedative being given to anyone, especially a fully restrained protester who was not a danger to themselves or others.”
The lawsuit itself names SFPD, SFFD, and the City of San Francisco as defendants. Both the police and fire departments declined to comment when approached by KRON4. But City Attorney David Chiu’s spokesperson Jen Kwart told the station, “We have yet to be served with the lawsuit,” and that “We will review it once we are served and respond appropriately.”
That seems reasonable, considering the City Attorney’s office has had a lot on its plate today.
Related: From Rodney King To Oscar Grant To Mario Woods, Oakland Attorney John Burris On Taking Cases That Change Police Departments [SFist]
Screenshot: John Burris Law via Youtube