PORTLAND, ORE – Multnomah County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Stephen Bushong today issued a temporary restraining order in the ACLU of Oregon’s case challenging the Portland Police Bureau’s practice of live streaming internet videos of protesters. This order temporarily blocks police from “collecting or maintaining audio or video of protesters” engaged in protected First Amendment activities in public spaces.
Judge Bushong’s order is in response to the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit filed Wednesday in the Multnomah County Circuit Court. The suit says that the Portland Police Bureau’s practice of filming and broadcasting protesters violates an Oregon law prohibiting law enforcement from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of people who are not suspected of criminal activity. (The order isn’t a decision on the merits of the case.)
“We appreciate Judge Bushong’s order,” said Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon. “Today’s decision is an important step towards ensuring all people can exercise their rights to protest and assembly without fear of government surveillance."
Protest is an essential part of our democracy. Throughout our history, it has taken protest to disrupt injustices and to open paths for change. Government surveillance chills people from engaging in their rights to protest and is an abuse of police power.
Attorneys on the suit include Edward Piper, Ursula Lalovic, and Joanna Perini-Abbott of Angeli Law Group LLC; Alan Lloyd Kessler; and Kelly Simon of the ACLU Foundation of Oregon.
The TRO can is online here (note: the blue ink is from Judge Bushong): https://aclu-or.org/sites/default/files/temporary_restraining_order_-_aclu_et_al._v._city_of_portland.pdf
The complaint is online here: https://aclu-or.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/acluor_portland_complaint_ex_a.pdf
More information about the lawsuit and Portland Police Bureau’s history of surveillance can be found here: https://aclu-or.org/en/press-releases/aclu-sues-stop-portland-police-livestreaming-protests