1st civil trial over Portland cops’ use of force begins

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The first civil suit alleging Portland police used excessive violence against a 2020 racial justice demonstrator started Tuesday before a jury in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports civil rights attorneys are paying close attention as it could be a bellwether for more than dozen cases to follow. After the police killing of George Floyd in late May 2020, racial justice protesters clashed nightly with Portland police and federal law enforcement officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service. Erin Wenzel claims she was following police instructions on Aug. 14, 2020, when an officer “ran at her and violently slammed into her with a nightstick.”