A protester who suffered a broken nose after being pinned to the ground by a Portland police officer lost her $200,000 lawsuit against the city.
Margaret "Peggy" Zebroski, 68, was protesting a fatal police shooting in February 2017 when Portland police in riot gear showed up to disperse the crowd. She stayed put when police gave an order for the crowd to leave the area.
Zebroski testified in court that just before being arrested, she stepped forward to help an elderly friend who had fallen on the ground, when a police officer grabbed her.
The officer told the court he thought Zebroski was attempting to interfere with police arresting another protester.
The officer who arrested Zebroski placed his knee on her head with enough force to break her nose. The criminal charges against Zebroski were ultimately dropped.
On Friday, the jury decided the city was not liable for Zebroski's injuries.
"The City appreciates the time and attention given to this matter by the Court and the jury," says City Attorney Tracy Reeve. "We are grateful that the jury carefully considered the evidence and concluded that the police acted appropriately. We sincerely regret the unintended injury to Ms. Zebroski."
The city argued that protesters failed to comply with police orders to disperse, which led to police making arrests, including Zebroski.
Zebroski's suit is one of several complaints in which protesters allege Portland police improperly deployed force against demonstrators exercising their free speech rights. A group of protesters are also suing the bureau for kettling hundreds of people at a June 2017 rally and taking photos of their IDs.