Suit: Police used excessive force in Portland Occupy march



PORTLAND — A photograph of an Occupy Portland demonstrator blasted with pepper spray as she opened her mouth to shout at a police officer became a defining image of the monthlong encampment.

Now, the woman in the photograph is in court to seek $155,000 in damages from the city of Portland, the officer who sprayed her and another she said put a baton to her throat.

Jury selection in a civil lawsuit filed by Elizabeth Evon Nichols began Tuesday morning.

The trial will address whether the officers’ use of pepper spray was within bureau policy and whether their actions were reasonable.

The officers’ defense team says Nichols was menacing the officers, and they reacted appropriately.

Nichols and the officers are expected to testify in the trial.