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Pepper-Sprayed Protester Files $155,000 Suit Against Portland Police

OPB | Oct. 5, 2012 12:44 p.m. | Portland

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An Occupy Portland protester has filed a civil suit seeking $155,000 in damages after being pepper sprayed by police last year.

Liz Nichols with her attorneys.

Liz Nichols with her attorneys.

April Baer / OPB

Liz Nichols is known around the world as the young woman captured in a photo as she caught a mouthful of pepper spray during an “Occupy the Banks” demonstration last November.

She was silent Friday as her lawyers outlined the excessive force complaint they’ve leveled against two police officers and the city.

Attorney Kenneth Kreuscher says Nichols was complying with the only police orders she could hear, and was standing on the sidewalk as ordered.

“Ms. Nichols to this day has suffered from trauma. She’s had trouble sleeping at times, is experiencing being nervous and uncomfortable being around police officers. For at least four months after the spraying, Ms. Nichols suffered from increased eczema rashes.”

Liz Nichols is known around the world as the young woman captured in a photo as she caught a mouthful of pepper spray during an "Occupy the Banks" demonstration in November of 2011.

Liz Nichols is known around the world as the young woman captured in a photo as she caught a mouthful of pepper spray during an "Occupy the Banks" demonstration in November of 2011.

Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian

Nichols is still facing charges herself related to that day’s protest.  She’s asking for a jury trial. 

A recent state Appeals Court decision affords her the right to do so, rather than having a judge handle relatively minor charges.

The city had no immediate comment on Friday’s filing, since it was so recent.

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