PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Another protester who claims he was injured by officers during the 2020 racial justice protests in Portland is suing the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
The attorneys for Lester Wrecksie filed the complaint Friday and allege officers threw a flashbang grenade that injured Wrecksie, beat him with batons, took his bicycle and threw it over the fence of the Multnomah County Justice Center.
Wrecksie said the bicycle was his primary means of transportation and he was never able to retrieve it.
According to the lawsuit, the incident took place on June 20, 2020. Wrecksie was participating in one of the Portland demonstrations to protest white supremacy and police violence after George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered in Minneapolis, Minn. by a police officer who knelt on his neck.
Wrecksie was protesting near the Multnomah County Justice Center along with hundreds of other people when police began ordering demonstrators to move. Wrecksie claims he was following police orders and walking with his bicycle in the direction he was told to go.
The lawsuit said Wrecksie was near Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street when a police officer approached him and tossed a stun grenade at Wrecksie from about 10 yards away. The grenade exploded under Wrecksie’s foot, causing him to fall to the ground in pain and disorientation. The lawsuit states he may have lost consciousness and injured his head in the fall.
While on the ground disoriented, Wrecksie said police took his bicycle away from him and began hitting him with batons. He said several officers threw his bicycle several times before eventually tossing it over the fence surrounding the Justice Center.
Wrecksie said he tried to find his bicycle later but was forced away from the Justice Center. He said he called law enforcement property holding facilities later and was told they did not have his bicycle.
According to the lawsuit, Wrecksie suffered from concussion symptoms for at least a week after the flashbang grenade exploded near him. He also had small, round welts and bruises on his legs that he believes came from projectiles in the flashbang grenade.
Wrecksie is accusing officers from PPB and MCSO of violating his right to be free from unlawful and unreasonable seizures, of not training their officers to respond to situations properly and of violating his First-Amendment right to free speech.
He’s requesting a trial by jury and seeks economic, non-economic and punitive damages.
Attorneys Franz Bruggemeier and Juan C. Chavez are Wrecksie’s legal representatives.
KOIN 6 News contacted the Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office for comment. Both entities responded that they do not comment on pending litigations.