ACLU sues Portland police, mayor over June protest tactics

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city of Portland, its mayor and police bureau, claiming they violated free speech rights by using overly aggressive tactics to break up protests in June.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 200 to 250 protesters who organization officials say were illegally corralled and detained by police at the protest.

In a news conference on Wednesday, ACLU Legal Director Mat dos Santos says that protests in the city “regularly devolve into chaotic scenes involving the indiscriminate use of force and crowd control weapons.”

A spokesman for Mayor Ted Wheeler declined the newspaper’s request for comment.

A Portland Police Bureau spokesman says they do not comment on pending or current litigation.