PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Lawyers say they intend to sue on behalf of a man who was hit in the head by a flash-bang grenade allegedly fired by police in Portland as the officers moved on people protesting an Aug. 4 rally by extreme-right demonstrators.
Juan Chavez of the Oregon Justice Resource Center wrote city officials on Tuesday, saying Aaron Cantu, who survived the impact of the projectile thanks to his bicycle helmet, intends to file a civil claim for monetary damages and injunctive relief against the City of Portland.
Chavez said police have been rough almost exclusively on left-wing protesters. The lawsuit is intended to get justice for Cantu and require police to overhaul their practices.
“The Portland community has been subject to this treatment – nearly exclusively on left-wing protestors – by the Portland Police at protests before,” Chavez said in a statement. The police’s willingness to use so much lethal force on fleeing protestors represents a new low that needs to be addressed. We hope that with this lawsuit that our client will be able to get the justice he so deserves and more broadly, that we are able to use this as an opportunity to require the Portland Police to overhaul its policies and practices as it relates to its treatment of left-wing protestors. The violence and lethal force experienced by Mr. Cantu is not acceptable and the City of Portland and the Portland Police must be held accountable.”
A Portland woman may also sue the city — after she said she was hurt in the protests.
Police Chief Danielle Outlaw previously said she wants to determine if force used was within policy guidelines.
KOIN 6 News Reporter Elise Haas contributed to this report