PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Portland City Council has agreed to pay a man $75,000 for the alleged financial, physical and emotional damages that he suffered during a recorded clash with Portland Police and a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputy during a George Floyd protest in Downtown Portland on July 4, 2020.
According to the suit, which was filed on June 3, 2021, Oregon resident Erik Hoofnagle was protesting police violence intersection of SW 4th and Washington streets when Portland Police Officer Brent Taylor shot him multiple times with FN 303 less-lethal projectiles. The suit states that Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Smith also shot Hoofnagle with a “more powerful” 40 mm projectile, causing a deep-thigh flesh wound.
“Hoofnagle had 14 separate wounds caused by these two grenadiers, and perhaps others,” the suit states. “Taylor then demonstrably lied about the circumstances to cover up the lack of probable cause to batter, arrest, incarcerate and charge Hoofnagle with criminal activity.”
Portland’s Senior Deputy City Attorney Caroline Turco advised city commissioners to accept the settlement during the Jan. 18 city council meeting after the city’s Risk Management department determined that the city could be found liable if the case went to trial. Citizen Marc Poris of the police accountability group Portland Cop Watch also addressed the commissioners and provided video footage of the incident for city officials and the public to watch.
“The plaintiff Mr. Erik Hoofnagle was marching with protesters when a smoke canister rolled past him, he turned around and kicked the smoke canister in the direction of the police, and when he did that, he was fired upon multiple times with multiple different munitions,” Turco told city commissioners. “He injured his knee and sustained bruises and later experienced emotional injuries.”
The Oregonian reports that Multnomah County also agreed to pay a $5,000 settlement for Smith’s involvement in the case, giving Hoofnagle a combined settlement of $80,000. The suit states that the $80,000 will also be used to pay for attorney fees and other litigation costs.
City Commissioners Carmen Rubio, Rene Gonzalez, Mingus Mapps and Dan Ryan unanimously approved the settlement. Mayor Ted Wheeler was absent from Wednesday’s meeting. The city will use its insurance and claims fund to finance the settlement.
During the same meeting, city commissioners okayed two additional settlements. Commissioners approved an $89,105 settlement involving the Portland Water Bureau for a water main break that flooded and damaged a Portland resident’s home on August 30, 2022. The council also agreed to pay $21,500 for a slip-and-fall that reportedly occurred at Tanner Springs Park on Jan. 21, 2020.