Protester dragged out of Chase Center during Warriors final game sues SF, claiming he was injected with a sedative in police custody

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An abortion rights activist who was dragged onto the Chase Center floor during a protest during a Warriors-Celtics game in the NBA Finals has filed a federal lawsuit alleging she was illegally injected a sedative while in detention.

The law office of Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris has filed suit on behalf of Kareim McKnight, the woman who was seen being taken away in a widely circulated video. The complaint, which names the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Fire Department as co-defendants, alleges that McKnight was injected with a “sedative/hypnotic agent” that was identified as a 5mg dose of Versed, a drug normally used to anesthetize patients for surgery.

“Giving a protester an injection against her will is offensive and illegal,” Burris announced at a press conference Wednesday outside the Chase Center. “In my entire career, I have never heard of a sedative being administered to anyone, especially a fully subdued protester who posed no danger to themselves or others.”

Spokespersons for the fire and police department referred the calls to City Attorney David Chiu’s office, which handles litigation against the city. Jen Kwart, spokeswoman for the city attorney’s office, said the agency could not comment directly because the city had not yet been notified of the lawsuit.

The alleged incident occurred on June 13 when McKnight and Amanda Piasecki purchased tickets to the game in protest of the United States Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to the complaint. During the first quarter, they unfurled a banner that read, “Overthrow Roe? Hell No” and walked down the aisle to the floor, singing along.

When they reached the ground, they were surrounded by private security guards, at which point they collapsed to the ground. While still chanting in protest, they were dragged by security off the floor and into a back room, according to the complaint.

Once on the ground, Piasecki was released but McKnight was handcuffed and tied to a stretcher, according to the complaint. A police officer threatened her with an injection which was eventually administered by fire personnel, according to the lawsuit. McKnight was then transported to Kaiser Hospital and then released.

“There was no evidence that Ms. McKnight was a danger to herself or anyone else,” Burris said. “She was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and she was protesting and being vocal. This in itself cannot justify the injection of a foreign substance into a person without evidence of a need. medical or security, which was not the case for Ms. McKnight.

In the press release, it is alleged that McKnight was singled out for brutal treatment, including injection of sedatives, because she is black. Piasecki, who is white, was released, according to the complaint.

Sam Whiting is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: swhiting@sfchronicle.comTwitter: @SamWhitingSF

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