Portland homeowner swept into protest scuffle seeks reform

2020 Protests

Elijah Warren says tear gas filled his home during a protest on Sept. 5 in SE Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Elijah Warren says tear gas filled his home in Southeast Portland during a protest and when he went outside, an officer struck him, causing serious injuries.

Warren told KOIN 6 News he wasn’t part of the protest on Sept. 5 but simply wanted answers about the tear gas that was filling his home, burning his eyes and lungs and those of his son and a friend.

So he went outside and found an officer to talk to about the chemicals in his home. But while that person was politely listening, Warren said a different officer approached and struck him.

Warren said the incident left him bleeding and concussed. He said he’s now stuck with medical bills totaling more than $1,000 and is currently on an inhaler because he’s still experiencing side effects from the tear gas.

“The emotional part is still like the biggest thing, even over the physical injuries, not letting my son go too far out of my sight now,” Warren said.

His son, Jaelin Warren, said he’s afraid of walking in the neighborhood and sticks close to his dad.

The Independent Police Review — a division of the Portland City Auditor’s office — contacted Warren. He shared his story and received a follow-up letter which promised to investigate the complaint against the unidentified Portland police officer accused of hitting him.

Warren supports the upcoming ballot measure that would create a new civilian oversight body with the power to discipline and fire PPB officers. He said will be advocating for the measure at an event next week alongside Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and is also going to be featured in televised ads supporting the measure.

The Portland Police Association has said the measure would likely face legal challenges.

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