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Protestors Sue City Through ACLU

Last November, the ACLU of Oregon filed a class-action lawsuit against the City of Portland and dozens of police officers stemming from police actions at protests in 2016 and 2017 (PPR #73). On March 8, they filed six more lawsuits against Portland Police. For the 2017 suit, ACLU is representing five plaintiffs and other similar individuals, alleging people were denied their constitutional rights to engage in peaceful protest, their right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure without the suspicion that a crime has been committed, and protection from excessive and indiscriminate force used by the Portland Police.

On June 4, 2017, police ordered protestors to disperse and then "kettled" hundreds, detaining them and not allowing them to leave until they had their picture taken and their ID examined and photographed (PPR #72). Several protesters tried to leave the kettle and were shot with less lethal rounds. On January 16, the City responded to the lawsuit saying they "deny that they have a policy, custom, or practice of 'kettling protesters without individualized probable cause and/or reasonable suspicion'" (ACLU website, January 20). Of the 200-250 people forcibly detained and photographed, the police arrested three or four.

The new lawsuits claim police brutality and excessive and indiscriminate force were used against six other protestors. Plaintiff Kelly Simon, a legal observer who was shot by an impact munition, said in a statement, "No Oregonian should be afraid to make their voice heard. But we are. And the police should not be regularly brutalizing protesters. But they are. And it is unacceptable."

Announcing the suit in March, Mat dos Santos from the ACLU wrote, "in Portland, we have seen many examples where the police response is used to threaten or intimidate people, and ultimately, deter them from gathering in solidarity and voicing their collective grievances. We believe this behavior has had a chilling effect on free speech and assembly in our city and in our state."

  People's Police Report

May, 2018
Also in PPR #74

PPB Kills Man in Homeless Center
  State Board Rarely Strips Certifications
  PCW: 59 OR Shootings 2016-Apr 2018
PPB Keeps Secret "Gang List"
Protestors Sue City Through ACLU
Review Committee Hears 2 Cases
Chief Outlaw Makes the Rounds
Chief, New Weapon at Training Council
Hearing Held on DOJ Agreement
Don't Arm School Police/Teachers
City of Portland Destroys Village of Hope
Terror Task Force Not in Sanctuary Plan
New Timeline on PPB Policy Reviews
Rapping Back #74

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

People's Police Report #74 Table of Contents
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