Portland Residents Gassed by Federal Officers in Downtown Apartments

Portland Residents Gassed by Federal Officers in Downtown Apartments

The Oregonian reported today that officers have been gassing innocent downtown Portland residents in their homes while targeting Antifa and Black Lives Matter demonstrators near the Oregon Art Museum. One woman, who lives in one of the apartments in that area, reported incidents of tear gas fired by officers with the Portland Police Bureau entering her apartment in recent weeks. The role of tear gassing people in that area has largely been taken over by federal officers with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Border Patrol, and U.S. Marshals. We know that there are several apartment buildings along the downtown Portland park blocks and that federal officers have been pushing all the way up to those areas at times even thought the park blocks near the Oregon Art Museum are some distance from the federal building that they were sent to defend.

The Portland Police are primarily to blame for most of the tear gas that those residents have been subjected to this summer, so one resident filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland for battery, negligence and nuisance. She asked for $10,000 but settled for $1,000. Hopefully, a federal lawsuit will follow against the federal officers that have also been tear gassing people in their homes, but suing the federal government is far more difficult. They would have to overcome sovereign immunity and that would require that they prove that federal officers knowingly battered people in their homes while operating within the scope of their employment. Otherwise they can only go after individual officers under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bivens_v._Six_Unknown_Named_Agents) but they would still face a high bar to prove that the officer knew of a risk to the apartment residents specifically and therefore were deliberately indifferent to them.

Published at Mon, 27 Jul 2020 17:51:39 +0000

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *