Nichol Denison

Nichol Denison is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and is currently employed as an advisor at a global company that manufactures and retails personal care products.  Denison attended the protests at the Hatfield Courthouse on several occasions in June and July 2020.  On July 24, 2020, Denison came to the protests as a member of the Wall of Moms and wore a bright yellow short-sleeved tee shirt over a long-sleeved shirt, a respirator, and a bright yellow plastic hard hat with “BLM” written on it in black marker.  Denison was standing with the Wall of Moms outside the fence surrounding the Hatfield Courthouse.  People in her vicinity were chanting and yelling, and some were banging on the fence, but there were no lasers, no fireworks, and no items being thrown at the Hatfield Courthouse anywhere near where she was standing.  Denison herself did not engage in any violence or destruction of property.  She merely stood in a line of women with arms linked, facing the fence, which was approximately eight feet in front of them. 

As she and others were chanting, Denison saw federal officers emerge from the Hatfield Courthouse.  They made no announcement or order to disperse.  Instead, they simply began launching cannisters of tear gas at the protesters without warning, and approximately five additional federal officers dressed in black with the label “DHS” on their chests came out from the Hatfield Courthouse and rushed up to the fence line.  Without any warning, the officers then began firing at Denison and the other women through gaps in the fence.  Denison was hit repeatedly and was then struck far more forcefully in the head by a tear gas cannister that appeared to have been thrown from in front of her.  When she removed her hardhat and respirator to receive treatment, she found that she had a three-inch v-shaped gash that was gushing blood.  The wound was too severe to be treated on site, and Ms. Denison was taken to the VA hospital by some friends, where she received 11 stiches before being taken home.