The Occupy Portland protester who was photographed as police doused her with pepper spray is now in court seeking $155,000 for damages caused by alleged police brutality. The photograph became one of the most galvanizing images of the movement.
Elizabeth Evon Nichols was just one of thousands demonstrators
who gathered in Portland, Oregon to protest widespread housing
foreclosures by major banks. Nichols began shouting at officers
as they aimed to move protesters away from the sidewalks.
Both Nichols and Portland police agree that she was shot with
pepper spray as she was yelling. The suit alleges that a second
officer put a baton to Nichols’ throat before she was roughly
dragged through the police line and arrested. The trial also
addresses whether the officer was acting within his rights when
he pepper-sprayed Nichols.
She “actively, physically resisted lawful police instructions
to move off the sidewalk,” city attorneys wrote in a court
motion. The lawyers also claimed Nichols “aggressively moved
as if to attack” the police, who acted reasonably in the
already high-pressure circumstances.
Two officers and the city of Portland were named in the suit.
Nichols and the officers are expected to testify, with defense
attorneys telling reporters that they will aim to prove Nichols
was “menacing” police before she was sprayed.
After being sprayed directly in the mouth by Sgt. Jeffrey
McDaniel, Nichols “was so overcome by pain that she flinched
and spun away from [McDaniel],” the lawsuit states, as quoted
by AP. “She hunched over with her hands on her face. After a
moment she felt her legs collapsing and sat down on the
According to the suit, Officer Doris Paisley then dragged Nichols
by her hair and charged her with interfering with police. Nichols
was convicted in 2012 and ordered to pay $130.
Nichols’ attorneys say the lawsuit is not about money, but rather
aims to change the practices of the Portland Police Bureau and
reprimand officers for violating their client’s freedom of
Jury selection and opening statements were completed Tuesday,
with three men and four women chosen to decide the legitimacy of
Nichol’s claims. The judge said the case could be up for
deliberation by Friday.
Republished from: RT