SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A woman is suing the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Fire Department, alleging someone with the latter injected her with a sedative while she protested for abortion rights.
Kareim McKnight is being represented by longtime civil rights attorney John Burris.
“Giving an injection to a protester against her will is shocking and illegal,” Burris stated. “In my entire career, I have never heard of a sedative being given to anyone, especially a fully restrained protester who was not a danger to themselves or others. What are the SFPD and SFFD criteria for injecting anyone with a sedative against their will absent a profound showing of an impending medical condition or preventing harm to others.”
A press release alleges that McKnight and her friend, Amanda Piasecki, were at a Golden State Warriors playoff game against the Boston Celtics at San Francisco’s Chase Center on June 13 when they unfurled a banner that stated “Overturn Roe? Hell No!” and began to chant “Abortion on Demand and without apology. Without this basic right, women cannot be free. Rise up for abortion rights.”
The two made their way to the main floor, at which point they were surrounded by security guards, who physically removed them from the arena, according to the press release.
“Once outside the area, Ms. Piasecki was immediately released, but not so for Ms. McKnight,” the press release states. She was held down with a knee in her back and an officer’s forearm across her neck, choking her, and she was handcuffed. She was threatened with being injected with a sedative by a San Francisco police officer, for which she protested. She firmly refused any injections. She was placed on a gurney and strapped down. Notwithstanding her protest and without her consent, she was injected with a sedative by a San Francisco fire department personnel. She was transported to Kaiser Hospital and, shortly after that, was released.”
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McKnight alleges that the sedative “made her sluggish and caused the slurring of her words. Mrs. McKnight believes that the police officers’ and para-medics treatment of her was arbitrary. She questioned the officers/personnel as to whether they were only giving sedatives to Black people,” the press release states.
A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Chase Center. The San Francisco Fire Department directed KRON4 to seek comment from the City Attorney’s office.
“We have yet to be served with the lawsuit,” Jen Kwart, the director of communications for City Attorney David Chiu stated to KRON4. “We will review it once we are served and respond appropriately.”