PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A federal lawsuit alleges the City of Portland and its police bureau used excessive force when a protest erupted at City Hall after the City Council ratified a new police contract.
The incident in question happened October 12, 2016 when a large group of people filled the city council chambers to protest a vote approving the new contract between the Portland Police Association (PPA) and the City of Portland.
When things became disruptive, then Mayor Charlie Hales recessed the meeting and reconvened the meeting later in the afternoon in a smaller conference room.
The meeting was held behind closed doors.
Police officers blocked members of the public from accessing the reconvened meeting, according to the lawsuit.
About an hour after the city council approved the contract, Hales ordered police to remove the public from City Hall, the lawsuit alleges.
Allyson Drozd, the plantiff in the lawsuit, was inside the building, but then left as instructed, according to the lawsuit.
As Drozd was standing outside City Hall, “observing and filming the goings-on inside through a window, and safely out of the flow of foot traffic, Drozd was sprayed in the face with pepper spray by a Portland Police Officer,” according to the lawsuit.
Drozd was then sprayed again from behind while leaving, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit does not name any police officers. It also does not list a specific amount of damages that are being sought.
Hales has not responded to KOIN 6 News requests for comment.