Lawyers

Legal professional: Man shot within the face by Fed ammunition is sued for “mind damage” – KOIN.com

PORTLAND, Oregon (KOIN) – One of the attorneys representing Donavan LaBella, a protester who was shot in the face with crowd control ammunition by a federal officer after he heard a loudspeaker over his during a racial justice protest in Portland last summer Kopf said he plans to file a lawsuit against the federal government and those involved in the incident on the man’s behalf before the end of the year.

James Healy, of The Gatti Lawfirm, who represents LaBella, told KOIN 6 that his client suffered “a significant brain injury” as a result of the incident in which he was “shot in the face by a federal official”.

One specialist even compared the injury to a frontal lobotomy, according to Healy.

Additionally, Labella is reportedly homeless, according to an article by Oregon Public Broadcasting in which LaBella’s mother Desireé LaBella said her son has been hobbling on the couch for the past few months and is currently living in a tent.

Man hospitalized with ammunition from a federal official because of infection

We asked Healy if LaBella’s mother was available to testify and he said she was unable to comment beyond what was written in the OPB article. When asked if he could confirm that LaBella was homeless, Healy declined.

Last year, in July 2020, the US Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General announced an investigation into allegations of the use of force by law enforcement officers at the Portland Justice Department.

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said the investigation was being conducted in response to inquiries from Congress, complaints received by the OIG, and a referral from the U.S. Attorney General in Oregon, according to a press release dated July 23, 2020.

A makeshift vigil with a chain and tea lights was seen at the spot where Donavan LaBella was shot in the head by anti-riot ammunition by federal officials on Saturday night. The remains of a pool of blood could still be seen on the sidewalk on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 (KOIN).

Although it is unclear at this point who the particular officer who fired the ammunition was, the division the person was with was the U.S. Marshals Service, according to the Associated Press.

Healy said he was trying to hold the federal government accountable for the violation.

“We don’t know who the officer is. And I’m not sure how much the federal government knows who it is. I suspect they could, but they didn’t tell us. “

Healy added that he spoke to people from the DOJ who confirmed an investigation is ongoing, including an investigation into the incident with LaBella.

He said DOJ officials even wanted to interview LaBella, but the lawyers decided not to make him available to the DOJ for testimony at the time. However, Healy said that despite the injury, LaBella was able to speak and verbalize.

Man who was hit with striking ammunition by a federal official during a protest leaves hospital

Healy said that once he finds out who the officer who shot LaBella was, that person, any supervisors in charge, and the United States of America itself will be the ones to face the lawsuit.

KOIN 6 News reached out to the DOJ to ask if they could comment on their investigation into the use of force by federal officials during the 2020 protests in Portland, but we did not receive a timely response for publication.

Senator Ron Wyden, one of many Oregon local and national leaders who denounced the actions of federal officials during the protests, said he had urged the federal government for responses and held people accountable.

In response to the latest updates on the state of LaBella, he told KOIN 6 News in a statement: “Questions about the shooting of this peaceful protester by federal troops sent to Portland by Donald Trump last year are among my inquiries, accountability and responses from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security, ”said Wyden. “And I will continue to put pressure on these federal agencies until I am convinced that justice is being served.”

The incident occurred during one of the many uninterrupted nights of anti-racial justice protests in Portland in the summer of 2020 that began in late May this year in response to the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. July 10th marked the first case of federal officials using then-President Trump’s orders against protesters in Portland Federal Court, arrests and tear gas use against protesters, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

On the evening of July 11, 2020, LaBella was seen raising a loudspeaker above his head outside the Hatfield Federal Courthouse just before a federal official shot him between the eyes and left him bleeding on the ground. The moment was described by a witness to KOIN 6 News, which was later confirmed by cell phone recordings.

Injured protester is operated on, family is considering legal action

Several videos showed LaBella bleeding profusely from her head as he was carried away by other protesters. A KOIN 6 News reporter also saw large pools of blood on the sidewalk and in the grass in Lownsdale Square across from the courthouse that witnesses said was from LaBella. It is unclear what type of mass control ammunition was used.

Later, in a memo leaked to the New York Times, it was revealed that the Department of Homeland Security warned that federal agents deployed to protect federal buildings in Portland had no special training in controlling riot or mass demonstrations.

While LaBella was initially released from the hospital a few weeks after the incident, he was later re-admitted for an infection related to the injury following facial reconstruction surgery, Healy said.

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