The city of Portland owes a man more than $300,000 because of the way he was treated by police officers.
A jury awarded the money to Gallagher Smith on Monday after they found police falsely arrested, battered and maliciously prosecuted him. It all stemmed from an incident in 2010 outside Aura, a downtown nightclub.
"The whole situation seemed so surreal while it was going on, I just could not believe that it was happening," Smith said during an interview at his lawyer's office.
In November 2010, Smith said he went outside the club to get some air only to be told by the bouncer he had to wait in the long line to get back in. When Smith questioned him, the bouncer flagged down police. When police tried to get Smith to leave the public sidewalk, he questioned them too.
"That's what this boils down to is the fact that I asked what I did wrong and they attacked me," said Smith. "They didn't like me questioning them."
Eyewitness video that was played in court shows what happened next. Smith was punched in the face, kicked in the ribs, shocked with a stun gun and hog-tied.
"I think the video helped show that Gallagher Smith was screaming and crying in pain that he was not yelling and screaming and trying to fight police," said Jason Kafoury, Smith's attorney. "I think when the jurors heard his demeanor in that video, it convinced them of who was telling the truth that day."
The physical injuries were minimal, but Smith said the mental toll has lingered.
"These last couple years I've spent in fear waking up every day not knowing if justice will be served, living in fear that the cops who are there to protect us are not going to do so," Smith said.
For his medical bills and court fees, jurors awarded him nearly $16,000. For pain and suffering, he will receive $290,000.
"At this point I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened," said Smith. "I'm feeling justified and vindicated in that our system does fundamentally work."
Smith said he wants to help the local homeless population through urban farming in currently vacant lots around the city.
Despite the verdict, the two police officers involved were cleared of any wrongdoing during an internal investigation.
Copyright KPTV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:13 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:13:30 GMT
Washington State Patrol is trying to track down a hit-and-run driver in a black Ford F150 pickup truck. State Trooper William Finn said the pickup driver ran a truck and trailer off the road on InterstateMore >
Washington State Patrol is trying to track down a hit-and-run driver in a black Ford F150 pickup truck.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:45 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:45:05 GMT
Portland police have arrested the suspect in an assault and stabbing in Northeast Portland. James Moultrie was booked in the Multnomah County Jail on assault, kidnap, rape and sodomy charges.Police respondedMore >
Portland police have arrested the suspect in an assault and stabbing in Northeast Portland. James Moultrie was booked in the Multnomah County Jail on assault, kidnap, rape and sodomy charges.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:32 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:32:38 GMT
Friends and family will gather Thursday night for a candlelight vigil to remember Ivanice Harris. Harris was last seen a week ago at a bar in Waikiki, Hawaii. According to family, she was in Hawaii toMore >
Friends and family will gather Thursday night for a candlelight vigil to remember Ivanice Harris.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 2:44 PM EDT2013-05-23 18:44:59 GMT
A family of three was pulled from a burning condo in Aloha during a two-alarm fire Thursday morning. Washington County deputies were first to respond to the home at Southwest Jaden Drive at 4:47 a.m. TheyMore >
Gang Huo and his 11-year-old son, Tengyuan, are in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:56 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:56:12 GMT
The body of a missing Portland woman has been found in Hawaii. A medical examiner's office in Hawaii confirmed Tuesday the body of Ivanice Harris was found near Yokohama Bay. A cause of death has notMore >
The medical examiner's office in Hawaii confirmed Tuesday the body of Ivanice Harris was found near Yokohama Bay. A cause of death has not yet been determined.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:06 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:06:27 GMT
Police in Vancouver have received several reports of batteries being stolen from RVs in the area. Detectives are now looking for the person behind the thefts. Fox 12 spoke with Vancouver resident AlexisMore >
Police in Vancouver have seen a spike of RV battery thefts in recent days.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:55 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:55:08 GMT
(RNN) - Dozens of Cleveland restaurants have pledged to give the man who rescued three Ohio women from captivity, free burgers for life. Charles Ramsey, the guy who famously stopped eating his Big MacMore >
More than a dozen of Cleveland restaurants have pledged to give the man who rescued three Ohio women from captivity, free burgers for life.More >