Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

Jennifer Fox, Pregnant ‘Occupy Seattle’ Protester, Claims Miscarriage after Police Kicked, Pepper Sprayed Her

This is what we know for sure: on November 15, Jennifer Fox, a 19-year-old homeless woman who said she was two months pregnant, was participating in an ‘Occupy Seattle’ protest when police attacked the unarmed, peaceful demonstrators with pepper spray. Fox was blasted with the dangerous chemical weapon (along with an 84-year-old woman, a priest and countless other protesters) and required hospitalization for chemical burns. Here’s a photo of her being rushed to an ambulance by fellow demonstrators.

That much we know for sure.

Now Fox is claiming to have miscarried as a result of the police brutality she suffered last week. She spoke to The Stranger, a local weekly alternative paper:

“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.'” Fox then says an officer kicked her in the stomach as another pushed his bicycle into the crowd, striking her in the belly again. Then, she says, “both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me. My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut.”

Fox was rushed to Harborview Medical Center where she claims doctors performed an ultrasound examination and told her there was nothing wrong with her baby at the time.

“Everything was going okay until yesterday, when I started getting sick, cramps started, and I felt like I was going to pass out,” she told The Stranger. She was rushed back to Harborview, where she says a doctor told her the baby no longer had a heartbeat. “They diagnosed that I was having a miscarriage,” she said. “They said the damage was from the kick and that the pepper spray got to it [the fetus] too.”

It is important to note that when asked, Fox could not provide any medical records confirming the alleged miscarriage or evidence that it was caused by police brutality. She told The Stranger that she has asked her case worker for her records. Until we see those documents, it would be unwise to jump to any conclusions.

If, however, those records do corroborate Fox’s story, what we are facing is the first case of what could at the very least be manslaughter, possibly even an act of murder, committed by a law enforcement officer against someone connected with the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. Jennifer Fox’s unborn baby would be the first casualty of this great American uprising. Its death would send a chilling message to the nation that exercising your First Amendment rights could get you– or someone very close to you– killed.

Some may be tempted to blame Fox for her own predicament. A protest is no place for a pregnant woman, they might say. But since when is peaceful protest supposed to be a life-threatening affair? Fox acknowledged that she weighed the risks of marching with ‘Occupy Seattle.’ “I was worried about it,” she told The Stranger. “But I didn’t know it would be this bad. I didn’t know a cop would murder a baby that’s not born yet.”

Blogger and activist Ian Awesome also spoke to Fox. “It hurts,” she lamented.  “It’s upsetting. I was ready to have a kid, because my family was going to support me in taking care of the child.  Her name was going to be Miracle.”

According to Mr. Awesome’s blog, Fox is consulting with ‘Occupy Seattle’s’ legal team to discuss legal action against the Seattle Police Department.

YouTube video posted by IowaBoyDave showing Jennifer Fox in agonizing pain after being attacked with pepper spray, a weapon banned for use in wartime under the Chemical Weapons Convention:

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