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Jury awards $50K to Portland commuter arrested in protest

KTVZ file

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has awarded a Portland man more than $50,000 after he was shoved, pepper-sprayed and arrested by county deputies dealing with hundreds of protesters.

The 12-person jury found Multnomah County sheriff’s deputies committed battery and used “more force than was reasonably necessary” in their November 2016 arrest of then-27-year-old Jordan Johnson, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Friday. Jurors awarded Johnson $50,000 in noneconomic damages and an additional $270 for the value of his skateboard that was left at the scene.

Johnson was on his commute home from work and was not participating in the protest stemming from the presidential election a few days earlier, he said.

He said he was skateboarding while waiting at a train stop before deputies arrived.

Police were broadcasting over a loudspeaker more than a block away that everyone must vacate a two-block radius, but Johnson said he could not discern what was being said.

Johnson was released from custody more than 12 hours after his arrest, authorities said. The district attorney’s office decided not to pursue criminal charges.

Jurors also found that deputies didn’t unreasonably cause Johnson to fear that he was about to get offensively touched.

Deputies were helping Portland police arrest 71 people, including some who were throwing glass bottles or road flares and vandalizing property, authorities said.

AP Only 2019

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