Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Occupy protester claims police caused her miscarriage by kicking and pepper spraying her

A still from YouTube shows 19-year-old Jennifer Fox in distress
US police pepper spray UC Davis students
PORTLAND - NOVEMBER 13: A young protester is arrested near the Occupy Portland encampment November 13, 2011 in Portland, Oregon. Portland police have reclaimed the two parks in which occupiers have been camping after a night of brinksmanship with protesting crowds of several thousands. (Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

A 19-year-old woman claims she has suffered a miscarriage after police allegedly hit her twice in the stomach and pepper sprayed her as they attempted to disperse Occupy protesters in Seattle last week.

Jennifer Fox, who says she was three months pregnant at the time, alleges that one officer lifted his foot and hit her in the stomach and another pushed his bicycle into the crowd, again hitting her in the stomach, The Stranger reported on Tuesday.

"I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in. I was screaming, 'I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out,'” Ms Fox said.

“Right before I turned, both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me,” she continued. “My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut."

A photograph posted on news website Seattle PI shows Fox being helped by protesters, while a YouTube video (below) shows Fox in distress.

The Stranger reports that immediately after the incident Fox was rushed to hospital, doctors performed a routine ultrasound and didn't discover any evidence for alarm.

The newspaper reports that Fox returned to hospital on Monday complaining of cramps and nausea and was was later diagnosed as having suffered a miscarriage.

"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,” said Fox.

She has not filed a complaint with the Seattle Police Department or provided medical records to back up her allegations. Fox is reportedly homeless, living at the Occupy Seattle encampment and does not have a working mobile phone.

Despite the lack of a formal complaint, a Seattle Police Department spokesman confirmed told the Huffington Post website that police are launching a formal investigation into the matter.

"We are aware of a claim that a pregnant woman who attended the November 15 Occupy Seattle march has been treated for a miscarriage," a police spokesman told the website.

"Consistent with standard procedure, the Office of Professional Accountability has initiated an internal investigation to look into the matter further."

Fox's claims follow 'chilling' footage of police pepper spraying Occupy protesters in California. Last month, US military veteran Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull after being hit by a police projectile. He was admitted to hospital in critical condition but is now making a recovery.

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