PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two Portland residents and Don’t Shoot Portland, a Black community advocacy nonprofit, have filed a class-action lawsuit against the City of Portland over the police department’s use of tear gas on protesters.
In addition to the nonprofit, Portlanders Nicholas Roberts and Michelle “Misha” Belden are listed as plaintiffs on the class-action suit. Both Roberts and Belden were tear-gassed at recent protests by Portland Police Bureau officers, according to the Oregon Justice Resource Center.
“Police have used chemical weapons against protesters in the area of the Justice Center in downtown Portland on five out of six nights since the current protests began,” the statement read.
The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order to immediately prevent PPB officers from using tear gas in the city. Beyond that, they hope to “see a permanent ban on the use of tear gas by Portland police.”
“By nature, tear gas can only be used indiscriminately,” said attorney Maya Rinta of Albies & Stark, who is representing the plaintiffs. “When clouds of chemical weapons are in the air, everyone close by will breathe them in and be harmed. The City knew this when it allowed police to use tear gas. It’s a particularly dangerous act in the midst of a pandemic, since the effects of tear gas could amplify the spread of COVID-19.”
KOIN 6 News reached out to the mayor’s office for comment on the suit, however a spokesperson said they “don’t comment on pending litigation.”
Below is the Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order
Below is a copy of the complaint