Occupy Portland Protester “Was Lying On The Ground In Compliance, Portland Police Continuously Beat Him In The Back With Clubs Until His Eyes Rolled Back In His Head” … Loses Use of Right Arm

Police Brutality Against Occupy Portland

In an unconfirmed report, Occupy Oregon tweets:

ALERT! A man named Justin James Bridges, musician & ASL translator for Occupy Portland General Assembly, was assaulted by @PortlandPolice today during camp clean out.

He was beaten repeatedly in the back and has now lost use of his right arm. Though Justin was lying on the ground in compliance, Portland Police continuously beat him in the back with clubs until his eyes rolled back in his head. Fellow protesters thought he was dead. He is now in critical care.


National Lawyers’ Guild # 503-902-5340. Protect rights, protect the truth.

Occupy Portland notes:

After a conversation with Justin, over the phone, one occupier reports that our ASL [American sign language] interpreter (and groovy guitarist) has no feeling in his right leg and cannot use his arm, which allows Occupy Portland interpret for those in our community who communicate by signing.

Reports state that Bridges is the guy who goes down at around 34 seconds into the following video:


And Bridges appears to be the guy dragged away by police at 8:40 in this video:


AP reports:

One man was taken away on a stretcher; he was alert and talking to paramedics, and raised a peace sign to fellow protesters, who responded with cheers.”

Daily Kos posts the following related tweets:

  • “According to reports from the hospital, Justin James Bridges was beaten repeatedly with clubs by @PortlandPolice, has lost use of right arm.”
  • “I was with [Justin James Bridges] and saw him dragged away by the foot by @PortlandPolice as he was screaming in agony!”
  • “Call @PortlandPolice Internal Affairs @ 503-823-0236 & request an investigation into excessive force used in the arrest of Justin Bridges.”

Update:  The Portland Mercury reports:

I just got off the phone with protester Justin James Bridges, who is currently in Legacy Emanuel hospital sustaining some injuries during the eviction of Occupy Portland yesterday. We don’t have the police officer’s side of this story, yet, but if Bridges does pursue legal action—as he says he will—that story will come out.

Bridges … was interpreting for the deaf during yesterday’s assembly in Chapman Park during the eviction when the police began pushing hold-outs out of the park. “The cops came in and started pushing people and destroying things,” says Bridges. “I turned around and told everyone that was standing by watching to get their video tapes out because they were violating our rights and we have to protect our rights. When I turned back around, I got caught in the crowd and my back got pushed up against a concrete trash can and I fell on to the ground.” Another photo of the interaction is here.

“The police grabbed me by my legs and pulled me through the mud,” says Bridges. “They started saying I was resisting arrest and started beating me. They tried to pick me up and I couldn’t feel my legs, they were screaming at me because I couldn’t walk.” When officers grabbed ahold of his bandana, Bridges continues, he began to choke and told officers he couldn’t breathe. “One of the cops laughed and said, ‘You can still breathe because you can talk.'” Bridges says he passed out and was not arrested, but instead taken to the hospital. “I was beat, they took away my first amendment right to peacefully assemble. They didn’t even charge me or arrest me. “

The police dispute Bridges’ version of events.

Here’s an interview of Bridges in the hospital:

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  • Meanwhile, The Penn State of Mind gets “all clear” and “nothing to see here folks”, move along now.

  • Brian in Wisconsin

    This shit needs to STOP!!

  • Rachel

    Can anyone answer the question as to why these police officers are wearing full riot gear to clear out unarmed, non-violent protesters? Does anyone NOT see the incongruity there?

    • The police were in full riot gera because they had no idea hwatsoever what to expect from such a sittuation and they never do. Unfortunately it SOP when you’re outnumbered 40 or 50 to one. I’m sorry your friend got hurt I truly am, but had he left when ordered to do so it could not have happened , that was his choice.
      Back to the Riot gear the police really only have your word for it that you’re going to be non-violent and honestly had they not been in riot gear, it’s possible more of you would have fought. They did you folks a lot of favors. You might want to thank them for thier control and patience on the whole.


  • Mark Twain

    I lived in the Portland area for a long time and people there will tell you how Fupped up the police are.
    But Rachel, as I’m sure you know, our police are now para military. At least in Europe you could hope for more professionalism from the various para military police forces. But here you get a bunch of hired thugs.

  • jack phillip

    Shizus people, get off your asses, get a job, and stop complaining.

  • bob

    i call BS on this guy. the only part of the videos that aid in what he said is the fact he was dragged through the mud. other than that there is no proof he was beaten repeatedly by police. and no a hospital video of him speaking does not equal proof. that’s hearsay not proof.

    on the other hand if you want to have concern about the people on the far right of the first video, well that’s justifiable. the officer is obvious using his club against them. but this guy? nope. without actual proof neither side can be believed.

  • Mrman

    This is bull. They are not peaceably assembling. They are just an obnoxious mob who will not obey the police and will not clear out when told to do so. Get up, get out, and start listening to the police. I don’t know where this attitude comes from that when the police tell you to move along, that is somehow “optional”.
    THAT is the thing that “has to stop”.

    Frankly, after watching lots of videos of various incidents where people in Portland cry “police brutality”, all I see are obnoxious defiant people who think it is their right to refuse to move, to get in the cop’s face, grab at him, even shove him, and then cry “foul” when they get mace or a nightstick as a reply.

    These cops are in riot gear because they are dealing with an unruly mob. Refuse to obey the law and you get just what you deserve.