WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The ACLU is filing a complaint claiming the D.C. National Guard’s use of low-flying helicopters during the June Black Lives Matters protests constituted “an unprecedented attempt to interfere with fundamental constitutional rights.”
The organization is filing the complaint on behalf of protester Dzhuliya Dashtamirova, who they say traveled from Baltimore to the District on June 1 to demonstrate in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Videos of low-flying helicopters over demonstrations during the protests were not uncommon
According to the organization, the movements reflected a military tactic called “rotor wash” – which they say has been deployed in combat scenarios in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A military helicopter flies low pushing a strong vertical down wash of air (rotor wash) onto the crowd during a protest over the death of George Floyd on June 1, 2020. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
The ACLU says the winds from the rotor blades whipped up debris that stung Dashtamirova’s face and arms, causing irritation for days afterward.
According to the ACLU, Dashtamirova told them these displays “left her terrified that she would face similar force if she dared to challenge the government again.”
FOX 5 reached out to the National Guard, who declined to respond, saying, "It would be inappropriate for us to comment on matters of pending litigation."
Read the complete filing below: