PORTLAND, Ore. - A college student who got a mouthful of pepper spray during the Occupy Portland protests filed a lawsuit on Friday against the city and two police officers.
A picture of Liz Nichols, snapped by an Oregonian photographer during a chaotic anti-bank protest, quickly became an iconic image for the Occupy movement.
Nichols claims she was sprayed in the face with pepper spray while shouting at another officer who hit her in the neck with a night stick. She believes the officers violated her constitutional rights and used excessive force.
"They had no justification or reason to either hit her or pepper spray her," one of Nichols' attorneys, Kenneth A. Kreuscher, said Friday.
"The Portland Police Bureau has a policy of endorsing and supporting police using pepper spray on non-violent, peaceful protesters and demonstrators," said Benjamin Haile, another attorney for Nichols.
The Portland Police Bureau said it cannot comment on pending lawsuits.
It's Been A Year Since It All Began
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Portland protests. Although the movement has become less visible since they took over Chapman and Lownsdale Squares and marched through downtown Portland, organizers say it still exists.
The national Occupy movement marched to mark the national anniversary of the event last month. The local chapter has not said whether they plan on doing anything on Saturday.