PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A Portland man is suing the city of Portland and a police officer after he claims he was wrongfully attacked and wounded during a protest over the summer.
In a press conference Tuesday morning, Elijah Warren said he was talking to an officer about tear gas seeping into his nearby home when another officer came up behind him and clubbed him with a baton.
“I’m excited because it’s going to push the discussion further with police accountability,” Warren said of the lawsuit.
Warren’s lawyer, Jason Kafoury, said the attack was completely unprovoked and unwarranted.
“It was pretty clear the police officer targeted him because he is Black and thought he was a protestor, and therefore, though he could use whatever force he wanted to,” Kafoury said.
According to Warren, on September 5, the 100th night of the protests and riots, he was home with his son and his son’s friend when tear gas came inside their house, leaving the two younger boys yelling and trying to clear out their eyes with water.
“I went outside to find a police officer to find out what was going on, and that’s when I got assaulted,” Warren said. “I was hit behind my ear with a police baton, and it busted up the whole right side of my ear, and I had to get stitches.”
Warren became emotional when he talked about returning to his son after the alleged attack.
“I’m coming back to my house, and he’s thinking I got stabbed or shot because so much blood is coming from the side of my head,” Warren said before pausing and wiping away tears.
The lawsuit seeks $400,000 in damages for medical bills and emotional suffering and claims the city was negligent on two fronts: for not providing the officer adequate training and not disciplining him for what it calls “past misuses of force” on the job.
Warren’s lawyers said this case is far from a rarity and instead is just one of so many other brutal encounters with police during protests over the last year.
“We’re hoping to show, for the citizens, that this isn’t going to stand in our city,” Kafoury said.
Warren said he hopes the officer quits the police force but wants the lawsuit to pave a better future for his son.
“They work for us,” Warren said of police. “They’re supposed to protect us. They’re not supposed to terrorize us.”
Warren’s attorneys are also representing several other people who claimed to have been wrongfully attacked by police.
FOX 12 reached out to the Portland Police Bureau and the city of Portland for comment.
Police referred FOX 12 to the city, and reporters have not yet heard back from the city attorney’s office.