ANIMAL rights activists are suing police for breach of their civil rights after they were caught defacing a pavement with protest slogans.
They chalked abusive messages outside the home of an animal research boss and were caught red handed.
But two years after their arrests it has now emerged they are suing police near Portland in Oregon USA.
Activists Amanda Schemkes, Justin Kay and Courtney Krisanda from Portland were arrested after they chalked messages outside the Beaverton home of David Schmidt, the he USA executive director of Skanska which is behind plans for a new research facility at Washington University.
The animal activist trio chalked: “David Schmidt kills animals”, “No rest for animal abusers”, “Skanska suck”, “David profits from murder”,”Schmidty= Animal killer”, “ David Schmidt, It’s your fault”, “Welcome to the storm week of action Skanska”, “ David Schmidt is a killer” and “David Schmidt builds death labs”.
A police spokesperson said at the time: “These words written in front of David Schmidt’s house and along his neighbourhood street are publicly insulting words intended and likely to provoke a violent response.”
The police later also said that animal rights activists left neighbours nervous and fearful.
But the activists are now claiming police officers used an ‘unconstitutionally broad interpretation of the law’ when arresting them.
They also say neighbours were not nervous and that claims by the Beaverton Police Department that the pavement clean up cost was $500 – the threshold for a criminal mischief charge – are wrong.
The lawsuit also claims the activists were harassed by BPD police after their arrests.