On October 12, 2016, demonstrators gathered at Portland City Hall to voice their protest over the City Council vote on the police union contract.  Just after noon, city officials ordered the demonstrators to leave the building.
After officers forced demonstrators out of City Hall, demonstrators gathered on Southwest Fifth Avenue outside of City Hall.  The demonstrators were peacefully blocking traffic and chanting slogans. 
Patricia was heading to catch the MAX train when she came upon the protest.  Because the MAX trains were not running, Barger decided to stay and observe the protest from the sidewalk.
A large group of Portland police officers in full riot gear descended on Southwest Fifth Avenue.  The Riot Offiers ordered everyone to the sidewalk. Because she was already on the sidewalk she remained where she was.
Riot officers then marched in a line across Southwest Fifth Avenue, from east to west, clearing people from the street.  As riot officers approached the west side of the street, Barger was on the sidewalk, two to three feet from the curb, and looking the opposite direction.
Suddenly, without any warning or announcement, PPB Officer Timothy Paolini broke from the police line and struck her with his baton twice. Officer Paolini knocked Barger off balance, and she instinctively grabbed his baton to steady herself. Once she realized what had happened, she let go. When asked, Officer Paolini offered no explanation for his actions.  Stunned, Barger left the area quickly.
Patricia is suing the city for battery, up to $10,000 in damages, and attorney fees.


Steven Wilker, Colin Geiger

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Tonkon Torp


Multnomah County Circuit Court

Case number


Stay informed

ACLU of Oregon is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National