Nacogdoches woman suing deputy for pepper spray at protest

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches woman has filed a federal lawsuit against a deputy who she says pepper-sprayed her while she was protesting the TransCanada pipeline in November.

In a complaint filed Thursday, Barbara Jeannette Singleton, 75, a great-grandmother, claims Cherokee County Deputy Michael Darby sprayed her in the eyes while she was peaceably protesting the construction of the pipeline.

Singleton's attorney, Curtis Stuckey, writes in the complaint that Singleton "did not violate any law ... did not pose any threat ... did not refuse to comply with any command ... was not given any warning" when Darby sprayed her.

"The pepper spray was extremely painful," Stuckey writes. "Plaintiff Singleton has given birth to four children, two without anesthetic, and the pepper spray was more painful than childbirth."

Singleton was one of more than 100 people showing their support for three protesters who had climbed 50-foot pine trees to create "tree blockades" with their lifelines attached to heavy equipment on the ground below them.

The proposed pipeline will extend pipeline capacity 485 miles from Cushing, Okla., to Nederland.

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