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NW Constitutional Rights Center Deeply Concerned by Actions of Portland Police

Preliminary reports indicate excessive use of force and indiscriminate use of pepper spray during peaceful protest
NORTHWEST CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS CENTER
PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: October 5, 2006
Contact: Alejandro Queral, 503-295-6400

NW Constitutional Rights Center Deeply Concerned by Actions of Portland Police During Peaceful Protests

Preliminary reports indicate excessive use of force and indiscriminate use of pepper spray

The Northwest Constitutional Rights Center is deeply concerned by the Portland Police Bureau's actions in response to a peaceful protest downtown this afternoon. Legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild and other witnesses report indiscriminate use of pepper spray and rubber bullets against a peaceful and complying crowd. There are reports of several injuries resulting from these actions. On-the-ground reports indicate that at least one person suffered a life-threatening asthma attack as a result of the use of pepper spray.

"We are deeply concerned by reports of excessive use of force by police officers against a peaceful crowd that was complying with police orders," said Alejandro Queral, executive director of the NW Constitutional Rights Center. "We encourage possible victims and witnesses to today's events to contact the NW Center as soon as possible."

The NW Constitutional Rights Center was founded in 2003 after a series of lawsuits against the Portland Police for using excessive force against peaceful protestors. Experts working for the NW Center at the time repeatedly warned the police that the use of pepper spray could result in respiratory complications, including life-threatening asthma attacks.

"We will make a determination on whether to pursue legal action after conducting a thorough investigation into this afternoon's events," said Queral.

The Northwest Constitutional Rights Center safeguards the rights of political activists, communities of color and immigrants through public interest litigation, advocacy and education. The Center holds the government accountable for its unconstitutional actions and works to create a just and equitable society.

# # #

Alejandro Queral
Executive Director
NW Constitutional Rights Center
Phone: 503-295-6400
Fax: 503-295-6415
www.nwcrc.org

homepage: homepage: http://www.nwcrc.org
phone: phone: 503-295-6400
address: address: 520 SW 6th Ave., Suite 1050, Portland, OR 97205

Asthma attack 05.Oct.2006 17:29

Varro

The man (Charles) who suffered the asthma attack after inhaling pepper spray has been treated at the Portland Clinic and released. He is (seemingly) all right now.

this should be the last straw... 05.Oct.2006 19:29

anon

after numerous recent deaths at the hands of the portland cops, and now this, there needs to be some kind of serious accountability. not paid leave or internal audits, but actual change. we need to know that if bush declared martial law, our police force (that we pay for) would defend us and not kill us.

so, what is everyone thinking?

Where can we see pictures of police attacks on peaceful 10-5-06 pedestrians? 10.Oct.2006 12:12

Injured pedestrian

How can we find photos of peaceful pedestrians injured by police at or near SW Jefferson and SW 12 October 5? What was the name for the weapon with the long plastic-looking barrel and the name of the cop holding it within two feet of the victim who could not move? What weapons caused the circular burn marks in the center of bruises and swelling, the multiple rows of small puncture wounds in the center of bruises and swelling, the blisters and red mounds, the painful points with no marks? What causes the heart/chest pain, head pain, etc.? Where can one see photos of similar wounds to one's own matched to type of weapons? Where can we get a list of the weapons used by the Portland Police? Where can we see video footage and photos of the police attacking law-abiding, peaceful, nonthreatening, incredibly self-controlled pedestrians on the sidewalk? How can victims see what happened while they blacked out? Who has photos of paramedics and Portland Fire Bureau public servants refusing to rescue and treat victims asking for help?