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Two Photographers Sue Wisconsin Law Enforcement Agencies For Injuries Sustained During Kenosha Riots

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Alyssa Schukar (D) and Scott Olson (D) – Freelance Photographers
(Both Photos, Facebook.com, Photo of Schukar by Alyce Henson)

**This is old news, but new to KCE and maybe some of our readers**

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A pair of photographers filed a lawsuit in Federal Court last July becuase they said they were hurt by untrained cops during “overwhelmingly peaceful protests” during the Kenosha riots. Alyssa Schukar, of Virginia, and Scott Olson, or Chicago, sued the City of Kenosha, Kenosha County, the former Sheriff and Police Chief, and a handful of other counties and law enforcement agencies in the Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Court.

Schukar says she’s a freelance journalist and was photographing for the New York Times. Olson says he works for Getty Images. Looking at the duo’s social media account, they are both activist-like photographers that lean heavily to the left. Olson has even been arrested several times, at least once in 2014 and once in 2017.

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Liberal Activist Lawyer Nathan Cade, Jr (D)
(website)

Both photographers found themselves a liberal activist attorney named Nathan Cade, Jr and filed suit together. According to the lawsuit:

“Schukar was working a freelance assignment for the New York Times and was working on an assignment for the New York Times during the Kenosha protests over the unprovoked shooting of Jacob Blake…

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Olson seeks damages for injuries sustained as a result of Defendants’ violations of his constitutional rights. Olson is a photojournalist which encompasses taking photos and communicating news via photos. Olson was working on an assignment for Getty Images during the Kenosha protests over the unprovoked shooting of Jacob Blake.

On the evening of August 25, 2020, a crowd had gathered to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, only days earlier. That evening, numerous rubber bullets (less than lethal rounds or munitions) were fired by law enforcement agents and officers into the crowd at the Kenosha County Courthouse. It is unclear how many rounds of munitions were fired.

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On the evening of August 25, 2020, a crowd had gathered to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, only days earlier. That evening, numerous rubber bullets (less than lethal rounds or munitions) were fired by law enforcement agents and officers into the crowd at the Kenosha County Courthouse. It is unclear how many rounds of munitions were fired.One of the fired rubber bullets hit Schukar in her left hand, causing her severe injury. She required surgery on that hand, and still is undergoing physical therapy:

Alyssa Schukar’s Hand
Alyssa Schukar’s Hand From X-Ray

One of the fired rubber bullets hit Olson in the head, causing him severe injury:

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Scott Olson

Plaintiffs were subjected to chemical agents, by Defendants – officer(s) of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department (including Defendant David Beth) and the additional assisting agencies. Plaintiffs were subjected to this force without cause, in violation of their First Amendment right to freedom of speech, First Amendment right to be free from retaliation, Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment right against the use of excessive force, and Fourteenth Amendment right to due process, plus state constitutional violations. This excessive force and unconstitutional constraint on Plaintiffs’ civil and constitutional rights resulted in physical injuries and emotional distress.

On August 23, 2020 Jacob Blake was shot seven times, four of which were in his back, by a City of Kenosha police officer Rusten Shesky. As a result of the near fatal shots to Jacob Blake, he is now paralyzed and will be under medical care for the rest of his life. In the days following the Jacob Blake shooting, the City of Kenosha saw numerous public protests against police brutality.

Although the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, the Kenosha Police Department, Kenosha Sheriffs’ Department, and other officers often used violent crowd control tactics against peaceful demonstrators. In response to the protests, Sheriff David Beth implemented an illegal government curfew on August 24, 2020.

Plaintiffs and the other members of the press corps wore jackets, hats, or other identifying information, that clearly identified, indicated, and showed that they were members of the press corps and not demonstrators. In addition, Plaintiffs and numerous other photo-journalists clearly had multiple cameras and other equipment that would suggest to any observer that they were members of the press corps and were not demonstrators or individual citizens. Although Plaintiffs clearly distinguished themselves as press and from the demonstrators, officers fired projectiles at Plaintiffs and the other press members, and when possible, Plaintiffs used objects like trees as cover and moved in groups with other photographers in an effort to make it obvious that they were not demonstrators but members of the press. At around 8:50 p.m. on August 25, 2020, Defendant LEOs released tear gas and the environment of the protest went from peaceful and safe to chaotic and unruly… Neither Schukar or Olson witnessed any destructive or unlawful behavior
by any demonstrators.”

Map Submitted With Lawsuit

Both claimed to be pepper-balled as well. They also assert that the police intentionally targeted the press. They both allege:

1. First Amendment Violation – Freedom of Speech, Association and Peaceful Assembly

2. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 – First Amendment Violation – Retaliation

3. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 – Fourth Amendment Violation – Excessive Force

4. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 – Fourteenth Amendment Violation — Excessive Force

5. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 – Fourteenth Amendment Violation — Due Process

6. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 – FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT MUNICIPAL (MONELL) LIABILITY
(Against Municipal and Individual Supervisory Defendants)

7. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 – Punitive Damages

8. 42 U.S.C. § 1988 (CLAIM FOR LEGAL FEES)

9. Failure to Train and Supervise (Against Municipal and Individual Supervisory Defendants – pursuant to Wisconsin Law)

10. Violation of the Wisconsin Constitution Right to Free Speech

11. Violation of the Wisconsin Constitution Right to Assemble

12. Assault

13. Battery

14. State Law Indemnification (Wis. Stat. § 895.46)

There does not appear to be any upcoming court date in this case.

Complaint Water

Author

  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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53 Responses

  1. Losers. Maybe don’t come out to play during a so called peaceful protest. Police should be able to sue all the losers that came and rioted, hurt civilians and national guardsman.

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      1. Nice try Andy. Last I checked he wasn’t suing like these idiots. But I like how you think went to the liberal left comment

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        1. The two photographers who are the subject of this story were working for the media. Why does that make them losers?

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          1. When they say they are working for the media, they are painting with a very wide brush. Actually they are just scavengers looking to take or create appropriate images to back up the biased views of the people they will sell them to. They are not on the payroll of any news agencies, they are just opportunists picking up poop and selling it to the highest bidder. If you surround yourself with targets, you are going to become collateral damage, and they know this because it is a valuable source of income for useless scum like them.

      2. Yes… yes he is a loser. A child wanting to play his video games in real life. But he’s defended by people because he pretends to be Republican. Kyle is too stupid to even know how to vote.

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        1. Well he wasn’t to stupid to defend himself. Curious what you did during the riots? Post on Facebook? Nice try clown

          1. I really like that kid. He did protect my te1nants when he put out the fire in the dumpster those terrorist pushed into the gas station.

  2. They sure took their time filing the lawsuit but they have a right to do so and like I’ve said to Michael Bell, sr., the place to litigate your case is in court.

    I don’t know if they have enough evidence to prevail. That’s for the jury to decide.

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    1. To add. The protests may have been “overwhelmingly peaceful” but not entirely. We had property destroyed by arson, police officers and others injured and fatalities. Maybe “overwhelmingly peaceful” was measured in duration of peaceful vs. violent activity but it mischaracterizes the riots that were allowed to go on because of an ineffective initial response by politicians. The people need the truth, the whole truth, about the riots.

      1. Just out of curiosity, did any of the businesses that Evers and Antaramian let burn to the ground sue the city or state ?

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      2. The protests were completely peaceful up to the point where law enforcement forced the demonstrators out of Civic Center Park. Had the police just let the protest play out, it’s very likely the peaceful protesters would have eventually voluntarily left the park and gone on their way. I was watching the protests going on through various live streams and it wasn’t until the police display of force that the city vehicles (garbage trucks/maintenance vehicles) were torched. As the police forced people to leave, the violence got worse.

      3. You comment is spot on, during the daylight hours it was protests… Walking and changing.

        After the sun set the protesters went home and the rioters came out. If you see the burnt car dealerships, and buildings, and any of the live video when the police clearly noted it was time leave and or step back from the fenced perimeter is was not mostly peaceful.

        Kenosha protested, rioters from outside the city were not peaceful.
        Did these reporters forget about the bus filled with gasoline cans the FBI arrested headed to the mostly peaceful protests. I’d just play a few clips from these videos and news articles and note they were there trying to get the story they wanted it to be, and what they got was a taste of what the story actually was – riots, looting, damaging property.

    2. Exactly. The people complaining, will probably never be on a jury anyway.
      Until they are, their opinions are nothing more than a turd in a punch bowl.

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    1. Jacob Blake and George Floyd are nowhere in the same league.

      Blake was a wanted felon, resisted arrest three times, was armed with a knife and entered a vehicle where he was poised to abduct children.

      98% of the cops in this country think that Officer Chauvin was guilty.

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      1. George Floyd is the only person in this country that died with Covid who was not listed as a death caused by Covid.

      2. And 98% of all statistics are made up on the spot according to unnamed sources who may or may not exist.

  3. Too bad! You should have stayed away.
    Dont come back, the next time we will skateboard you and you’ll get nothing again.

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  4. The female ‘reporter'(?)….high forehead-wierd face-looks like a Goonie Goo Goo.
    Obviously would fit right in with the Kenosha Democrat Party.

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  5. “Peaceful protests”?
    A hand injury?
    “You came here for some love and war, so suit up for the game.” — David Lee Roth

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  6. If they were photographing “peaceful protests” then they obviously weren’t in the right place, were they?

    Then again, the guy is from Chicago….I bet those riots are “peaceful protests” compared to Chicago every weekend in the hood.

    Can you see a photographer in Afghanistan suing the Taliban for injuries. Fucking pussies.

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  7. There are two interesting schools of thought (apart from the childish insults thrown around here). One is did these photographers assume the risk of injury by placing themselves at the scene of a riot? The other is whether the police did, in fact, use excessive force. These are issues of fact and law that will be sorted out in court, not here.

  8. This is the risk they take when covering this type of situation. Their workman’s comp should cover this if their employer requires them to cover an incident like this. They deserve nothing. They should realize the collateral damage is a real possibility when covering an incident.

    1. Let the evidence and legal arguments be presented in court. I did check them out and both are highly regarded photojournalists.

  9. Interesting that their lawsuit refers to the shooting of Jacob Blake as “unprovoked” when it was anything but. That line of “reasoning” fits right in with their claims that the police used improper and unprovoked force toward them.

  10. So the police that are responding to the “mostly peaceful” protest have to identify the members of the press before they deploy measures to stop the protesters when they turn “not peaceful” so the members of the press are not caught in the cross fire?

    I also noticed they went to great lengths to say the shooting of Jacob Blake was “unprovoked”. Jacob Blake did not obey lawful commands of law enforcement and went to his stolen vehicle to obtain a weapon.

    If any discipline is warranted towards the officers, it’s that Jacob Blake was still alive after they discharged their weapons. More time at the range should have been one of the requirements after this shooting.

  11. Truly a case of resisting arrest, assaulting officers, and attacking officer with a knife. This POS Jacob Blake should be in prison. But, the DA cowered to the mob. In an email correspondence Gravely told me it wasn’t worth the money/damage to pursue charging Blake.

    1. Look at the bright side, he’ll be a lot easier to catch and stuff in the squad car next time they need to pick him up for warrants and breach of restraining orders.

  12. That’s like being a war correspondent and suing the govt for not protecting them if they got hurt.

  13. I like how “go fund me” would not allow the officer to have a helping hand while he and his family had to move to hide. While the scum bag blake pocketed tons of cash. If gravely had any balls at all they would’ve seized those funds.

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