ACLU of Oregon suing city of Portland over police protest tactic - KPTV - FOX 12

ACLU of Oregon suing city of Portland over police protest tactics

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The ACLU of Oregon is filing a class-action lawsuit against the city of Portland over police tactics used at a recent protest.

The lawsuit specifically talks about a tactic called “kettling,” which is essentially when police surround a large group of people and condense them into a small area.

The ACLU claims the tactic was used during a protest on June 4 and that more than 200 people were caught up in the kettling, including innocent people who were just on the street and had nothing to do with the protests.

The group also claims the people were held in the Kettled area for nearly an hour and that police sprayed pepper bullets at some people who tried to leave through a parking garage.

Ultimately, the ACLU lawsuit states the mass detention ended after officers “photographed every individual and recorded their identifying information.”

“This kind of disproportionate response is dangerous to democracy but also to our lives,” ACLU of Oregon legal director Mat dos Santos said. “To our knowledge, no other law enforcement agency in America uses crowd control weapons with the regularly of the Portland Police Bureau.”

FOX 12 did reach out to the Portland Police Bureau, but a spokesperson said the bureau does not comment on pending litigation.

A spokesperson for Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office told FOX 12 the mayor asked former police chief Mike Marshman for additional information on the police response to protests that day, and they received a response.

The spokesperson said that beyond that statement the mayor cannot give a response, citing the pending litigation.

FOX 12 also reached out to the Portland Police Association, the union which represents the officers in the Portland Police Bureau. President Daryl Turner said officers are always considering what the safest tactics are in any situation, adding the group “welcomes” the opportunity to defend the officers’ actions.

“When people violate the law, we have to take into account which tactics are safest for everyone involved. In this situation, they ascertained kettling would be the safest option,” Turner said. “Obviously, the ACLU are not experts in the category of police tactics when it comes to protests and other matters, and we welcome the chance to defend our actions when the time is appropriate.”

The ACLU has made a copy of the suit available online at

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