PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A woman said she was falsely arrested after twerking to NWA’s “F*** Tha Police” at a Black Lives Matter rally in Portland.
A federal civil rights action lawsuit recently filed against the city of Portland and multiple Portland police officers states that Alonna Mitsch, a Black woman, was wearing Black Lives Matter clothing and joined a large demonstration in downtown Portland on Aug. 17, 2019.
Kyle Green, Ken Le and Andrew Braun were named as PPB officers in the suit, where Mitsch is demanding for a jury trial. She’s also suing for assault, battery, violation of equal protection and unlawful retaliation against speech.
Mitsch joined the event to “peacefully protest the presence and ideology of the Proud Boys,” according to the lawsuit, describing them as “a violent right-wing neofascist group.”
While counter-demonstrators marched downtown, Mitsch crossed the street and heard music blaring from the song. She then briefly twerked to the music in the bike lane area of the crosswalk, the suit added.
The document said there were other demonstrators both in the crosswalk area and marching in the middle of the street. However, those “similarly-situated individuals” were “white and non-Black” and were not at the time engaging in conduct with a message critical of police.
“After Ms. Mitsch briefly twerked, she continued to cross the street,” said the lawsuit. “She was already on the sidewalk, when, without warning, PPB officers jumped off their police vehicle to chase Ms. Mitsch.”
It also said that while Mitsch was on the sidewalk, PPB officers – including the defendants – ran up on her from behind, pulled or twisted her arms, swung her down to the ground from behind, and arrested her with too-tightly bound restraints.
According to the lawsuit, police racially profiled Mitsch and arrested her because she was a Black woman engaging in “Expressive conduct supporting Black Lives Matter and critical to police.” The suit said that the officers treated demonstrators – Proud Boys – differently and more favorably.
Mitsch was then charged with disorderly conduct but was later acquitted by a Multnomah County jury, added the complaint.
The lawsuit lists six claims of relief, including unlawful seizure, equal protection and retaliation against speech.
As a result of the arrest, Mitsch alleges she suffered bodily harm and emotional distress in an amount to be determined at trial. The woman also seeks relief economic and non-economic damages, including any other relief the court deems proper.
KOIN 6 News reached out to the city of Portland the Portland Police Bureau for comment. Heather Hafer, a spokesperson with the city, said it is against city policy to comment on such matters.