Blind woman wants to sue Portland police for excessive force
09:49 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Compiled by ABE ESTIMADA, kgw.com Staff
A 71-year-old Portland woman who is blind intends to sue police because she claims officers used excessive force.
Eunice Crowder is still recovering from the June scuffle with officers. She claims police went too far when they used handcuffs, tazers and pepper spray when they tried to restrain her outside her north Portland home.
"They pepper sprayed me in my prosthesis," she said. "It ran through and down my nose so fast."
Eunice Crowder, 71, is legally blind. She says Portland police used excessive force after she fought with them. (KGW Photo)
Crowder is seeking unspecified damages in federal court. She is legally blind and has trouble hearing and walking.
"It stung," she said. "It made me feel like I was choking. It made me angry. I was having trouble breathing. Nobody seemed to care."
The trouble began when city crews with warrants were ordered to clean up her messy yard. She became irate after crews tried to take what she described as family heirlooms.
When police were called in, she tried to kick and bite, and officers attempted to restrain her, according to police reports.
Crowder was cited for harassment and interfering with a peace officer. A police spokesman said the bureau can't comment on the case because it is under investigation.
Her attorney, Ken Walker, wonders how much force was needed to bring Crowder under control.
"The police have knocked her down," he said. "They've tazered her. They maced her. They handcuffed her. They've thrown her in a police car. We think the message needs to be sent that enough is enough."
KGW reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this article.