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GRAPHIC: Lincoln woman brings civil rights lawsuit after being injured in protest

On Tuesday, the ACLU of Nebraska filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of Elise...
On Tuesday, the ACLU of Nebraska filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of Elise Poole, a Lincoln woman who sustained severe injuries after an officer fired a projectile that struck her face from close range during a May protest.(ACLU)
Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 1:50 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On Tuesday, the ACLU of Nebraska filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of Elise Poole, a Lincoln woman injured during a May protest.

The complaint lists the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County, former Lincoln Police Chief Jeffrey Bliemeister, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner and two unidentified officers as defendants. According to the ACLU, “the lawsuit argues officers’ indiscriminate and excessive force violated the constitutional rights of Poole and others who were gathered in peaceful protest and not posing any safety threat.”

The ACLU of Nebraska said in a release the lawsuit centers around a protest on May 31, 2020 in Lincoln that took place in the days after George Floyd’s killing.

The lawsuit claims officers in riot gear used pepper balls and tear gas on a group that was protesting police brutality in civil disobedience of a curfew. The lawsuit claims an officer shot Poole with “an impact munition, severing her nose from her face. The traumatic injury required emergency reconstructive surgery.”

“Officers traumatized Elise and every other peaceful protester at that scene in an outrageous violation of their rights,” ACLU of Nebraska Legal Director Adam Sipple said. “It was never justified, and it was never acceptable. We brought this lawsuit because we share Elise’s conviction that we need to make sure this never happens again. There’s no way for this community to move forward toward justice without accountability.”

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