Volunteer nurse arrested at 2017 presidential inauguration, facing loss of license

  1. According to this Facebook page for an advocacy group calledSteel City Organizing for Radical Community Health (SCORCH), nurse Britt Lawsonwas arrested at the 2017 presidential inauguration. She faces a loss oflicensure. The costs of her defending her license are a significant ongoingfinancial burden. She is seeking contributions at FundedJustice.com to helpwith the financial burden of her defense.


    SCORCH's Facebook page appears to be claiming the nurse aspart of their organization, which is apparently in Pennsylvania. According tonursys.com, there is a Pennsylvania licensed nurse named Brittne Lawson. Theredoes not appear to be a way to obtain Washington, D.C. police arrest records online for free. The Pennsylvania Board of Nursing does not appear to post information about disciplinary actions online.


    In the case of nurse Alex Wubbels in Salt Lake City, there was plenty of coverage to help us understand the case. So far we don't have muchinformation about the case of Britt Lawson. I'd like to know more, including information on any other nurses who were arrested at this event.
    Last edit by dianah on Oct 13 : Reason: formatting
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   kcochrane
    I can't find out a lot of information on this. Sounds like she was supplying nursing treatment at a protest that went bad and tear gas was being deployed. Unfortunately she got swept up with everyone else. Charges are usually the same for everyone in hopes that things will get straightened out during arraignment or the trial. it would be nice to have more information.
  4. by   Ewoknurse
    Hi there. Commenting for the first time on allnurses because I am the nurse in question. My charges and various court dates are publicly searchable by name (OP is correct that my full name is Brittne Lawson) at https://www.dccourts.gov/eaccess/home.page.2

    I volunteer as a "street medic" which is something you can certainly find some info on around the internet, but among other contexts you will often find street medics at protests. Anyone can become one and it requires a brief training which is shorter for those of us who are already healthcare professionals. Training consists of basic first aid for lay people and things like scene safety and specific training in treatment for protest-specific injuries (i.e. injuries related to chemical weapons, panic attacks, crowd calming, etc.) for everyone. We are purely voluntary and operate through non-hierarchical community networks and collectives such as SCORCH, which OP linked from. This is important because formalized EMS often cannot provide care in potentially dangerous situations, can not always cross police lines, etc (for example, the first responders to perform CPR on Heather Heyer - the woman run over and killed while protesting the alt right march in Charlottesville - were street medics). But it also means we operate in a weird great area where we are often ourselves considered protesters and lack the legal protections that folks have who work through formal apparatuses.

    It's worth noting that I have worked as a street medic in plenty of "milder" protests as well where I have often done little more than provide water and sunscreen and perhaps treat a sprained ankle. In this one, however, things escalated and I was primarily treating injuries related to tear gas and pepper spray exposure and sting grenades deployed by police. Due to this being an ongoing case, I can't discuss the details, but suffice it to say I was mass arrested with 200+ people (protesters, but also other medics, a handfull of journalists, and legal observers) and jailed for 36 hours before being charged with the exact same blanket charges as every person arrested. None of my charges are individualized.

    The PA board of nursing has opened an investigation which is still pending and will most likely not be resolved until the completion of my trial. I am not in this immediate moment facing disciplinary action but have, as mentioned in my fundraiser page, had to pay a second lawyer to handle licensure. I have been working in inpatient oncology but had to quit my job ten days ago due to mandated appearances for status and motions hearings for which I have to travel to DC nearly once a week during lead up to my trial. My trial itself is also expected to last multiple weeks as I will be tried alongside 8 co-defendants, and I was just bumped a few days ago to a later trial, so this will likely continue to drag out for some time. Fun perhaps unsurprising fact: I am hoping to transition into emergency medicine once this hopefully all eventually blows over.

    I only found this post because there has been significant doxxing and harassment of defendants in this case by the alt right, so it has had to become an unfortunately regular practice to Google my name periodically. For similar reasons, I will not share personal info about other arrested medics who have chosen to remain as minimally public as possible. But I am not the only nurse.

    Sorry for the rambling, but perhaps this answers some of your questions. In all honesty, I may not respond to further posts... My life is pretty dang hectic and stressful right now... But you're free to ask if you do have other questions!

    Best,
    Britt

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