Jennifer Kristiansen Bio – Wiki
Jennifer Kristiansen is a Portland mother and attorney who was arrested while protesting with the “Wall of Moms,” a group of women who have joined protests outside of the federal courthouse in the Oregon city. Kristiansen told Heavy she has ripped away from a line of fellow moms by federal officers who did not have any insignias or identifying information on their black and camouflage uniforms.
Kristiansen also told Heavy she was groped and assaulted by the officer who arrested her. She later learned he was part of the U.S. Marshals Service.
She is 37 years old.
Jennifer Kristiansen Arrested
Kristiansen, the mother of a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old, was protesting at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse for the first time on Monday night, July 21, when she was arrested. Kristiansen had decided to join dozens of other yellow-shirt-wearing mothers who had taken to the streets alongside protesters who have been at the courthouse for more than 50 days supporting Black Lives Matter, calling for police reform and an end to police violence.
According to CNN, the moms were spurned to protect the protesters after Department of Homeland Security officers escalated violence against protesters at the courthouse after they were sent to the city by President Donald Trump.
According to federal court records, Kristiansen, who was wearing a pink helmet and a rainbow tutu, along with a respirator mask her husband insisted she wears to help protect herself from tear gas and pepper spray, was charged with assault on a federal officer and failing to obey a lawful order, both misdemeanours. She has pleaded not guilty to those charges and told Heavy she did not assault a federal officer at any point during the protest. Kristiansen said her helmet bore, “I am disappointed and angry.”
Kristiansen was taken into custody after midnight, when federal agents emerged from the courthouse and began to use tear gas, flashbangs, batons and impact munitions to force the crowd gathered there to disperse, live streams of the protest showed. Court documents filed by prosecutors provide little information about the accusations against her.
The misdemeanour information accuses Kristiansen of “forcible assault” on “Agent Victim 1,” a federal officer who was performing his official duties on July 21. It does not include any other details. It also accuses her of willfully entering the federal property and of failing to comply with the lawful direction of federal police officers.
There are no records of any other members of the “Wall of Moms” group being arrested by federal authorities during their three nights at the protests near the courthouse. Kristiansen said she is not sure if any of the other members of the group were taken into custody and then released without charges.
Total Four Persons Arrested
Kristiansen was one of four protesters arrested on July 20 and charged by the Oregon U.S. Attorney’s Office, according to court records. The other four protesters were men. A 22-year-old and a 23-year-old were charged with failing to obey a lawful order, a 44-year-old, who is part of the PDXDadPod, was charged with disorderly conduct on federal property and 18-year-old was charged with failing to obey a lawful order and disorderly conduct on federal property, records show. All have been released from custody.
A video posted by freelance Portland journalist Sergio Olmos, which you can watch above, captured the moment Jennifer Kristiansen has pulled away from her fellow moms and taken into the courthouse by federal agents.
Part of the wall has come off pic.twitter.com/0wI550A7Xo
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) July 21, 2020
Kristiansen said, “We were being pushed back, we’re walking backwards,” but there was a big crowd behind them. “We’re linked arm to arm, so we’re slow, but we are leaving,” she told Heavy. She said she was then pushed by an officer who was about 6’2″ tall (she said she’s about 5 feet tall), with a baton. She then heard the woman to her left scream that the officer had hit her breast.
Kristiansen said she then used her arm that was free to put herself between her and the officer with the baton. She said if he swung again, she wanted it to be her arm that would be hit, not the other woman’s breast again. She said then, out of nowhere, another federal officer arrived. Both officers only had tags that said “police DHS,” no name tags or anything else identifying themselves or their agency, she said. “I’m a lawyer and even I don’t know what that means,” Kristiansen said.
Walls Of Moms Group Protest
Kristiansen said she has been to protests before, but decided to join these specific protests when women she knew joined the “Wall of Moms.” Kristiansen said she knows a lot of the moms from other activism and areas of life, including the local Multnomah County Democrats. Kristiansen said she did not plan to get arrested and expected to be fine. She told her husband she would be home by 1 a.m.
She said because of her arrest, she is not allowed to be at the courthouse. But if not for that, Kristiansen said, she would have been right back out at the protests once her body healed, because it is “too important not to.”
Kristiansen said, “I don’t think the protest and the chants, and the jeers and the signs, and even the moms are going to change the minds of the feds, or the president of Chad Wolf, but that’s not the point. The point is changing popular opinion.” She said once a popular opinion is swayed, public officials will be pressured to make changes. She said she hopes federal representatives will demand accountability for the federal officers who are at the courthouse.
Kristiansen Education and Career
Kristiansen worked for a family law firm in Oregon until recently leaving to look for a new job. She graduated from Western Oregon University in 2004 and from the University of Oregon in 2007 with a journalism degree, before earning her law degree from Lewis & Clark College in 2015.
Kristiansen said her husband and sister-in-law watched her being arrested on a live stream, something she says she wouldn’t wish on anyone, “the feds need to get out of our damn town and stop doing that to families.”