Trump Campaign Sued by Teacher Arrested at 2020 Tulsa Rally
(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign was sued for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of an Oklahoma teacher who was arrested outside a June 2020 rally while wearing a T-shirt bearing the words “I can’t breathe.”
Sheila Buck claims she was targeted by former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and Anthony Ornato, then-acting White House deputy chief of staff, because of her shirt, a reference to George Floyd, according to a suit filed Tuesday in state court in Tulsa.
Buck says she suffered bruises and lacerations on her arms from her handling by Tulsa police, who were allegedly directed by the campaign and Secret Service to arrest her on a public street even though she held a valid ticket for the event and passed through security without any trouble. She said she was charged with obstructing a police officer.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said he hadn’t heard of the lawsuit but that blaming the Trump campaign was misplaced.
“If someone has an issue with being falsely arrested or something shouldn’t they maybe reach out to the police?” Miller said. “I’m not aware of campaigns being allowed to arrest anyone, although it does sound kind of awesome if you want to let me know what jurisdiction that might be allowed in.”
Buck’s T-shirt was a reference to some of the last words spoken by Floyd before he was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020, triggering protests across the country, including some that turned violent.
“Defendants disagreed with the political implications of Plaintiff’s dress and assumed that she was in attendance to somehow protest or agitate the President and/or his allies,” Buck’s lawyer said in the complaint. “In reality, Plaintiff wore the shirt in preparation for a later event and in no way was agitating anyone around her or the President.”
Buck is seeking unspecified financial damages from the campaign and the City of Tulsa. The suit also names two unidentified Secret Service agents.
Tulsa spokeswoman Michelle Brooks declined to comment on pending litigation.
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