﻿Victims of Police Attacks During the Recent Protests Against the Iraq War
Announce the Filing of Federal Civil Rights Lawsuits Against the City of
Portland, Mayor Vera Katz, Police Chief Mark Kroeker, Mark Kruger and
Press Conference April 17th, 2003 12 noon,
City Hall ( 4th Ave. )
For Immediate Release
Alan Graf, Attorney at Law
Plaintiffs Randy Lyon, Miranda May and William Ellis
The National Lawyers Guild attorneys representing their named clients below will be filing law suits against the City of Portland, its mayor, Vera Katz, the Chief of Police, Mark Kroeker, Sgt. Mark Kruger, Officer Joe Hanousek and several yet-to-be-named police officers for their violent actions against peaceful protesters and a engineer for KATU for actions that occurred during demonstrations in downtown Portland during the month of March 2003.
The protestors involved in this notice to file lawsuits were acting legally and were exerting their First Amendment right to protest on the sidewalk.
The KATU engineer involved in this notice was helping his crew film the protests and was acting legally as well exerting his First Amendment right of freedom of the press. The Portland Police have provided no justifiable reason for their behavior since the event.
These particular incidents coupled with reports from legal observers evince a pattern and practice of brutality and disrespect by the Portland Police Bureau for the rights of peaceful protestors. The incidents also evince attempts by the PPB to cover up their misdeeds by intimidating members of the press who have attempted to cover the protests. At a previous incident, a camera-woman was pepper sprayed in the eyes by the PPB as she was attempting to
video-tape misconduct by the PPB.
Mayor Katz publicly worries about the costs of the police actions against the protestors.
The Mayor should be aware that the costs associated with these protests are in large part tied to the over-reaction and heavy handedness of the PPB.
One cost that the Mayor does not mention is the cost of the destruction of democracy in this town.
The National Lawyers Guild poses this question to the Mayor:
How much is the Bill of Rights worth, Mayor Katz?
What dollar amount would you assign to the First Amendment?
A copy of a videotape of these events of are available to the
press upon request.