portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

a22: bush protest

legal process against the protest cops

legal action against the cops
Does anyone know if there is going to be some sort of legal action aginst the protest cops who pepper sprayed and shot rubber bullets in to the crowd? I am one of the people who was pepper sprayed early on and helped people after they were sprayed. I would love to send fleets of lawyers winging to bring justice to those storm troopers that felt it necessary to be so aggressive against a calm crowd. If there is a group of people pursuing legal options or if there are any folks that know anything about it I would love to add my testimony to the story.

Thanks
Alas, legal talent costs money 25.Aug.2002 23:36

Jacoby and Meyers

It would also help if one had a case close to winnable and could also show how receiving a dose of pepper spray in the face or mouth has significantly damaged one.

In other words, have the actions of the police prevented you from working or lost you your job? Have you incurred medical expenses? Have their actions been a source of great pain or suffering, etc?

perhaps 25.Aug.2002 23:38

a wind

There may be one, if there is one I would watch indymedia as you will be shortly there after informed. Also I do believe the family who was attacked are filing a law suit, but that may be only on the behalf of their case.

Go to it 25.Aug.2002 23:47

Maalox and water

Dear protestor,

There are several individuals and groups who might be interested in helping you.

First, Copwatch. The small but mighty Portland group can tell you how to file a complaint with the Portland police. Not that that will do any good, but you may wish to put it on record.

Attorney Alan Graf and other members of the National Lawyers Guild would be willing to talk to you regarding legal action, particularly a class action law suit.

The Police Accountability Campaign (PAC-2002) would gladly seek your assistance in challenging the City Council by replacing the toothless police-controlled review board with a civilian controlled review board.

You can, as an individual, sign up for 3 minutes of the City Council's time to speak on an issue that will come before the Council. Somehow I imagine that the police attack on us will make it to the Council's agenda. I doubt that Vera Katz and Chief Kroeker will dare to call an open forum as they did after May Day 2000 - they may be complicit in the evil that was done, but they're not stupid.

And, if you are having health problems after being pepper sprayed, SEE A DOCTOR. There are two reasons for this: 1. pepper spray can cause long-term damage in some individuals at the eyes or respiratory system. You need to get treatment. 2. you need to document the damage immediately. Groups such as Black Cross Health Collective can give advice about pepper spray treatments, including herbal remedies, but if you're thinking of lawsuits you need someone with an MD or DO or NP after their name.

Finally, and importantly, sit down and write an account of what happened to you. Do it immediately and date it. Draw diagrams of where the intersections were. Write down any identification you remember about the cops. Get any photos or videos you can find. Lawyers kiss the feet of people who actually bring them what is referred to as 'evidence'. It may not win a case, since the Portland Police have killed people with pepper spray and never apologized - remember Dickie Dows? - but at least you will have a case to begin with. By the way, the Dows family had to wait several years to get even the small settlement they received. None of the police officers were ever even reprimanded for the murder.

All these groups and individuals are easily found using Google or your Yellow Pages. Good luck. Fight the Power.

Get 'em all fired 26.Aug.2002 00:01

kkkopstoppers

Don't expect a lot of action this way. The cops review themselves and always surprize, surprize find that they did nothing wrong. The courts are no better. Even in crazy shit like the Rodny King case the cops were all found not guilty. Don't look to their courts for justice 'cuz you won't find any. We should put the cops on trial for treson against the people, but what good would it do? You really want to fight back? Instead of giving money to some greedy lawer give it to cop watch or move or better yet take the money, buy a shit load of riot gear, and pass them out to the people at the next rally. Then you would realy be stoping some people from getting gassed and beaten helplessly. Useing the cops and courts only justifies their contnued exsistance.

-peace-

Hey Legal Eagle 26.Aug.2002 00:03

Reader

Ever heard of this?:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The courts are the way to get redress. 26.Aug.2002 06:12

Anonymous

The founding fathers divided power between the executive, legislative and court systems, so that even if two of those groups became corrupt, there would be a third party to ensure equity. And that is what has happened, the courts are the only way to achieve redress. And the courts are in fact beginning to stand up to the administration. There was the secret court that just recently published putting limitations on wire taps and the sharing of that information by the administration. There is the court case by the families of the 9/11 victims against the Al Quaeda funders. If I recall correctly the Judi Bari case was won, and the FBI lost! Most judges are decent people, supreme court nominees being the exception! The courts are the defenders of the constitution, the rights of free speech, and the right to assemble. But they can only act if we bring cases against the police to trial. So I do hope that the people in Portland bring the appropriate cases to court. Because that is our best and last hope for influencing government.

Thanks to all the people who participated in the portland protests. Very motivating!

How about legal action against the newspapers 26.Aug.2002 06:18

Anonymous

For defaiming the protestors. Can't we sue them for libel
or something like that? Can I sue them for providing me with bad information?

Protestors in Seattle got money 26.Aug.2002 17:04

bov

A lot of people got money and apologies but they had to have some evidence - i.e., photos - and had to be able to show the cops were in the wrong (i.e., they were a reporter with ID, etc.)

I would guess that in this case, if enough people came forth with video and photos and showed that the cops acted without provocation and without warning, you'd have a case.

Pepper spray use has a lot of precedents and lawyers like stuff with precendents - so go for it!!

It's like getting evicted - do you get a lawyer and pay the money and maybe recoup something? Or just forget it and crawl away? Chances are you'll get your money's worth in both cases, so it's worth the investment.

dragon 17.Sep.2004 21:51

white lion

history 101

HELP 08.Apr.2005 15:17

DESPERATE

I live in North East Arkansas and am a victim of abuse by the cops. I need to find an organization that I can go to in person and show the evidence I hav in my defense. Everytime I look up they make up a bogus report and make me spend money on bail and a attorney. Then they drop it when it goes to court. This does not seem fair i have spent over 10,000 in the last three years and have never been convicted of any crime. I am just harrassed all the time.