Portland man plans to sue city, police bureau over alleged 'unre - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland man plans to sue city, police bureau over alleged 'unreasonable and excessive force'

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Christopher Fish, jail booking photo Christopher Fish, jail booking photo
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A Portland man plans to sue the city and the Portland Police Bureau after he says officers used “unreasonable and excessive” force against him during his September 2016 arrest.

Lawyers for Christopher Fish also assert that he was assaulted by officers who “broke his orbital socket, fractured his nose and caused lasting psychological damage,” and they’ve filed notice of a pending tort claim seeking damages.

On September 26, 2016, Fish took a 10-minute cell phone video documenting his exchange with police officers as they tried to arrest him in southeast Portland on a felony warrant.

Throughout the clip, officers order Fish to come out of an RV but he fails to do so. At one point, Fish – who denied to officers that he was, in fact, Christopher Fish – tells officers he’ll come out in 10 minutes after he has time to get dressed and smoke a cigarette.

Officers threaten to use pepper spray to get Fish out, and at one point he apparently puts on a gas mask.

But one part of the recording in particular is getting a lot of attention, as an officer is heard saying “stop moving your f***ing hands or I’m going to shoot you in your head.”

That statement is made twice.

An officer is also heard on the video threatening to shoot Fish’s dog.

“If that dog shows his face out here we’re probably going to shoot it,” an officer is heard saying. “I’m going to take it as a threat right now that you have that dog in there and you’re using it against us.”

The clip ends before officers actually arrest Fish, but his lawyers assert that Fish was assaulted that night by officers who took “unlawful, negligent and tortious actions when they arrested him, damaged his property, and assaulted him by using excessive force.”

Fish was charged with two misdemeanors after the encounter: Interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest. In the tort claim notice, lawyers wrote that a judge threw one of those charges out and a jury found Fish not guilty of the other.

A spokesperson for the Portland Police Bureau told Fox 12 he could not comment on personnel matters, but did confirm that an officer involved in the case, Matthew Bigoni, is the subject of an internal investigation.

Bigoni is still working as an officer assigned to the east precinct.

Various agencies involved in the investigation and lawsuit declined to comment.

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