July 16th, 2012 | Corey Pein News | Posted In: City Hall, Activism, Cops and Courts

Occupy Portland Protester Who Was Hospitalized Sues City For $3 Million

justin james bridges2Police arrest Justin James Bridges last November at Chapman Square. - Still from Portland Police Bureau video

Occupy Portland demonstrator Justin James Bridges briefly became the movement's poster child last November when he was hospitalized after police officers dragged him out of Chapman Square.

Yesterday Bridges filed a lawsuit against the city of Portland, neighboring cities that sent police officers to last year's downtown showdown and eight individual officers involved in his arrest. He alleges, among other things, false arrest, excessive force and indifference to serious medical need.

His monetary demands total more than $3 million. Most of that comes from a $2 million claim for punitive damages, not reimbursement for medical bills or other economic damages.

Read the U.S. District Court complaint here (pdf).

In media interviews last year from his hospital bed and now in his lawsuit, Bridges claims he was "brutalized." In addition to "ben[ding his] fingers back and attempt[ing] to break them while handcuffing him with zip-ties," Bridges claims, officers "started choking [Bridges] with his bandana."

Bridges' complaint says he "thought the officers were going to kill him."

Portland Police gave a dramatically different account, even releasing a video that seems to show much gentler treatment than Bridges described.

 
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