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Support Victim of Police Brutality

$1,010 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 6 months

On June 4th, 2018, my spouse, Tessa Lovelace (legal name Kevin Straw) was arrested and brutally assaulted by Marion County police officers. Tessa was struck over 14 times in the head, while they screamed for help and begged the officers to stop hurting them. In the video, you can hear Tessa repeating over and over, "I am not resisting."

Tessa is a disabled individual who suffers from schizoaffective disorder with bipolar and psychotic features (such as paranoia and delusions). In the past, they were also diagnosed with PTSD, and they are believed to be on the autism spectrum. They have always been a compassionate, gentle, idealistic person who just wants to help people and make the world a better place.

Tessa was arrested  during a search and rescue operation for some missing fisherman in the Detroit Lake area where they have been camping. The statement from Marion County police claims that Tessa was arrested for allegedly disturbing the search operations by making too much noise and attempting to warn searchers of a cougar in the area. A local news outlet was onsite covering the search and managed to catch Tessa's arrest on video. The overwhelming violence displayed by police towards this vulnerable, transient, disabled, mentally ill individual is unnecessary and appalling.

David Rogers, executive director of the Oregon ACLU, commented on the video, calling it disturbing and violent. "Repeatedly punching someone who is apprehended to the ground by four police officers is a clear example of excessive use of force. Period," he said.

The goal of this campaign is to raise the funds needed to support Tessa in the wake of this brutal assault by police. Our financial needs for Tessa's recovery are threefold - legal, medical, and long-term support.

Legal

The Marion County Sheriff's Department has charged Tessa with resisting arrest, a criminal offense. We will need to contest these charges in court. To that end, we hope to raise $5000 - $10,000 in order to cover the cost of a good lawyer who can advocate for Tessa and accommodate their needs as a disabled, mentally ill defendant. Once the criminal case has been settled, we will be defending Tessa in civil court against the charges of interfering with police. In addition, we are also exploring our options for legal action against the police department and/or the individuals responsible for this brutal assault.

Medical

Tessa is currently recovering in a psychiatric care facility in Salem on a temporary basis. They have a hearing on Monday to determine whether they will be involuntarily committed for a stay of 180 days. If not, they will be immediately dismissed from further psychiatric care at this facility. Tessa is unemployable at present due to their mental state, and as a result they have no health insurance. We would prefer to allow them to self-determine their care, but between their hospitalization, psychiatric care, medications, and referrals to multiple mental health specialists, we are looking at thousands of dollars of medical bills (for example, the autism specialist alone is $1700 for a consult).

Long-Term Support

Tessa was evicted from the room they were renting in May, and they have been homeless since that time. Any funds raised by this campaign that do not go toward the emergent legal and medical bills will be put towards ensuring Tessa has stable housing. Without having their basic needs met - things like food and shelter - it will be nearly impossible for them to focus on their recovery and participate in the psychiatric care that they so desperately need. 

Please share this campaign far and wide with the hashtag #JusticeForTessa. Give if you can, signal boost if you can't. I thank each and every one of you for your support.

Love and Solidarity,


Sessha
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I wanted to share an update on Tessa. They have been discharged from the psychiatric care facility in Salem, and the hearing to involuntarily commit them to long-term psychiatric care has been cancelled. We hope that this will allow Tessa to self-determine their care, and we are still pursuing consults with medical professionals who specialize in their specific conditions.

We also want to express our deepest heartfelt gratitude to those who have contributed to this campaign.

We urge anyone who sees this to share it far and wide. Our fight is not over; it is just beginning.
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$1,010 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 6 months
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