The city of Portland has agreed to settle a lawsuit for $10,000 that was filed by a woman who claimed police assaulted her during a protest in October 2016.
According to the lawsuit, Patricia Barger was just watching the demonstration take place from the sidewalk across Southwest Fifth Avenue from City Hall when Officer Timothy Paolini hit her with a baton in the chest and forearm.
During that time, police were clearing demonstrators from the street who were protesting a closed door City Council vote on the police union contract.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon,“Officer Paolini knocked Barger off balance, and she instinctively grabbed his baton to steady herself. Once she realized what had happened, she let go.’’
Barger received medical treatment at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for a hematoma on her arm.
“Officer Paolini specifically told plaintiff, who was standing with her toes at the edge of the sidewalk/TriMet platform, to keep moving back several times,’’ Senior Deputy City Attorney Robert Yamachika wrote in an answer to the suit. “When Officer Paolini reached plaintiff, he put his stick up to move her backwards and plaintiff grabbed onto the stick. Officer Paolini used his Rapid Response Team training and performed a push pull maneuver to free his stick from plaintiff’s grasp, during which it made contact with plaintiff’s forearm.’’
Barger sued the city for $10,000 in damages for compensation for her injuries and medical care.
“The payment made to the undersigned under this agreement is not to be construed as an admission of liability,’’ the settlement says.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time police have been accused of excessive force. Earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed against the city of Bakersfield (in California) accusing police officers of excessive force during a February shooting.
The lawsuit says detectives Ryan McWilliams and Isaac Aleman were looking for two carjacking suspects on February 11. The suspects were later identified as Anthony Markis Ramirez and Marinah Renae Segura and were seen getting away in a gray mustang.
The suit claims that the detectives blocked the car Ramirez and Segura were in and then rushed towards their Mustang and, “Without cause or justification, proceeded from 3ft away to discharge nearly 15 rounds” into the vehicle.
Ramirez suffered from multiple gunshot wounds and is paralyzed from the armpit down. The lawsuit also claims that both Ramirez and Segura deal with emotional distress and anxiety from the incident.