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.
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We think it is him at 34 seconds into this video. Charles Grapski is using his magic to verify for us.
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.Here is the music video this musician posted on youtube:
"In the media van, at around 7 am, Justin came up to a few of us and relayed a story about how he had gone down the line of riot cops at 3rd and Madison, and told each one of them that he loved them. He presented each of them a transition stone, which they could not take from him, but he lay one at each of their feet. He said many would not look at him, and some because they had tears in their eyes. Justin is a remarkable person who facilitates communication, and has been at the occupation from the beginning.
He's one of the people who make this movement so strong." - media team member
"He's at [removed], room [removed]. He told me his story. He caught between the trash can and a crowd of people. His back was already broken. He ended up on the ground. They pulled his arms around his back, accused him of resisting arrest, dragged him around more because he couldn't move his legs. He still doesn't have full feeling back in his right leg. While they were carrying him around and screaming at him because he couldn't get his feet under him and carry his own weight, they carried him by his arms and his ankles, and he passed out because he was choked unconcious because they had ahold of jacket, collar and the bandana. He complained he couldn't breathe and they said you can breathe 'cause you're talking, and then he passed. He came to, gasping for air, looking up at the trees. He asked for help but they refused to listen to his hands. He was not arrested nor booked. They sent him to the hospital on a stretcher. He did nothing but tell the officers that he loved them from the bottom of his heart, but that he was disgusted at them and ashamed of them.
They're going to run more tests on him today and they'll try to let him out. He's still having a lot of problems -- he can't stand up on his own power." - media team member
"just spoke with KGW about what happened to Justin and how the officers were beating people down just several feet in front of me. Pointed out the Justin is one of the gentlest most peaceful people I've ever met. I also pointed out how the police report says "no officers or arrested" were injured. Justin was not arrested, but he was severely injured.
They are investigating." - media team member
4:01 PM PT: Video of Justin James Bridges from his hospital room:
Portland Police Department's video and
The Portland Police Bureau wants to address community concerns about the treatment of Justin Bridges on Sunday November 13, 2011 as officers cleared people out of Chapman Square.
The Police Bureau has released police video of Mr. Bridges being dragged to safety after he apparently fell down in between police, protesters, a trash can, and newspaper boxes. Officers dragged Mr. Bridges away from a very volatile situation as they are trained to do when anyone goes to the ground at the front lines of a protest. As an example, Officer Curtis Brown, who was struck by a projectile early Sunday morning, went to the ground and was almost immediately carried away from the front lines by officers to an awaiting ambulance.
Once safely behind the lines, he was temporarily flex cuffed as officers talked to him. Mr. Bridges let officers know that he had a previous broken back and was having some pain. Officers continued to talk with him as they called for medical personnel to respond. Mr. Bridges was able to stand and walk, with officers assisting, to a nearby park bench where they awaited medical personnel to arrive.
Once an ambulance arrived, Mr. Bridges was placed on a stretcher and transported to the hospital. He was not arrested or cited.
In reviewing Portland Police Bureau video and video taken by people in the crowd, it does not appear that Mr. Bridges was ever struck by officers.
The Police Bureau is releasing this video because of the compelling public interest regarding this incident and as part of its continuing effort to be transparent.
7:33 PM PT: Photo from this weekend in Portland: