On a gorgeous Monday evening outside of the White House earlier this month, Ann Dagrin’s and Radiya Buchanan’s eyes were watering and their throats were burning. It wasn’t until the next day that they learned why: Donald Trump had ordered tear gas and flash grenades be used to disperse the peaceful protest they were participating in. Once they found out that the shellacking had been ordered up simply so the commander in chief could swan over to St. John’s Episcopal Church with Ivanka and pose with a Bible that she’d stashed in her $1,540 Max Mara tote did it occur to these two protesters, who both work in education, that what their president had done was totally un-American—not to mention unconstitutional. So they decided to sue.
“I remember vividly people running through the streets blindly with tears running down their faces, asking for anything to be poured into their eyes, whether it was milk or water or solution,” says Buchanan, a director with Higher Achievement. “People were coughing, gagging, throwing up from the tear gas getting into their lungs.”
Their lawsuit landed just as President Trump sued to prevent the publication of an unflattering White House memoir by his former national-security adviser John Bolton. Buchanan, who is 27, and Dagrin, who is 26, along with another friend, claim in their suit that Trump’s bit of stagecraft violated their freedom of assembly granted by the First Amendment, as well as their right to be free from excessive force under the Fourth Amendment. Says Buchanan, “I’m suing the president because on Monday, when I went out to peacefully protest, I was met with violence and brutality at the command of our president. He made a deliberate attack on not only my rights but everyone else who was out there.”
Learn more about their suit in the video below.
Shawn McCreesh is a reporter and writer in Washington, D.C.