HOUSTON, Texas – A Texas woman described as a Black Lives Matter supporter stands accused of punching a Houston police horse during an anti-Trump protest last week.
Shere Dore, 40, has been charged with interference with a police service animal, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from court records held by the Harris County District Clerk. The offense is a State Jail Felony punishable by incarceration of up to two years and not less than 180 days behind bars. If convicted, Dore could also be fined up to $10,000.
A complaint filed by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office obtained by Breitbart Texas states that Dore recklessly struck a police horse in a manner likely to injure the animal with her hand. At the time, a mounted police officer on a police service horse named “Astro” were attempting to move Dore and other protesters out of the street where they were allegedly blocking traffic and back onto the sidewalk.
The incident occurred during an anti-Trump rally in Houston on November 10. KHOU CBS11 reported that Assistant District Attorney Gavin Ellis told the judge of the 253rd District Court, “Defendant Dore took a combative stance and struck Astro on the shoulder with a closed fist.”
The Houston Chronicle describes Dore as a “community activist” and “Black Lives Matter supporter.” Dore has frequently been seen by Breitbart Texas at Black Lives Matter protests in Houston and adjacent Waller County.
The Houston Chronicle reported the protesters were in the street and not on the sidewalk, a violation of city municipal code. Dore and other protesters were reportedly warned to get back on the sidewalk before the mounted patrol officers began using the horses to move the protesters back. The Houston newspaper reported that Prosecutor Ellis told the judge, “defendant Dore struck the police horse in the shoulder with a closed fist.”
“These cases were filed to try and intimidate protesters against Donald Trump,” Dore’s defense attorney, Brian Harrison responded, according to KHOU. “And we are going to fight these charges that are aimed at discouraging people from exercising their First Amendment rights.”
This is not Dore’s first appearance in a Harris County courtroom. In January 2015, Dore was arrested and charged with Disobeying Verbal Commands and Creating a Traffic Hazard, according to court records. The criminal complaint stated Dore’s actions were in a manner to interrupt, disrupt, impede, and interfere with a peace officer while he was performing his duty. The initial charge was a Class B misdemeanor. The charge was eventually pleaded down to a Class C charge and Dore was fined $75 and credited with time served.
Dore was originally released on November 12 after posting a $2,000 bond. KHOU reported she was re-arrested on Monday when her bond was raised to $5,000. She was released from custody after posting the new bond.
Another defendant, Emily Garcia-Briones, 22, was also charged in relation to the protest and appeared in court with Dore. Garcia-Briones is charged with picking up a police body camera that had fallen on the ground, according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas. She then allegedly hid the camera in her purse.
The Houston woman faces a Class 3 felony charge of Resisting Arrest and Tampering with Evidence. A criminal complaint filed by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office states that Garcia-Briones resisted arrest and concealed a body camera with intent to impair its availability as evidence in any subsequent investigation. Court records show this is her first offense in Harris County.
Garcia-Briones’ defense attorney, former Houston City Council Member Jolanda Jones, told Judge Jim Wallace, “No one hit a horse and no one hi[d] a camera,” KHOU reported. “They had a First Amendment right to protest. I think this is the first indication of what’s going to happen with the new president.” Jones also currently serves as a trustee on the board of the Houston Independent School District and was described by the Houston Chronicle as a “local firebrand.”
“I want the world to know that our clients are absolutely innocent. They have a First Amendment right to protest,” Jones told the Houston Chronicle. “I think this is one of the first indications of what’s going to happen with the new president.”