Portland Man Sues City, County, And Media For False Arrest, Malicious Prosecution, And Slander After Protesters Jumped In Front Of His Truck
Citing false arrest, malicious prosecution, and a bevy of Constitutional rights violations, Mark Dickerson has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Portland and Multnomah County. The covfefe giving rise to the lawsuit stems from an incident involving a small gathering of Black Lives Matter protesters who were blocking the road, and Dickerson trying to make his way through the group. The crowd gets out of the way, except for one guy, who intentionally jumps in front of Dickerson’s truck, multiple times, while other protesters pelt his truck with debris and signs.
Dickerson was the one arrested by Portland “police” officers, who were monitoring the protest from afar, apparently ceding the streets in front of the courthouse, city, and police headquarters to the protesters. Dickerson was charged with Assault in the Fourth Degree, Reckless Endangering, and Reckless Driving.
Representing himself pro se, Dickerson has filed the lawsuit in Federal court. The complaint reads:
This is a civil rights and state tort law action against the above-named parties for the unconstitutional and tortious act of falsely arresting the Plaintiff, the unlawful siezure and detention of Plaintiff, and in criminal charges being filed against him. A sitting state court judge dismissed all charges against him.
Before going on to list several individuals who were working in their official capacity, including police officers and deputy district attorneys. It then continues with:
7. On October 31, 2018, following the death of a Portland resident in a police shooting incident, a group of protestors aligned with the “Black Lives Matter” movement, engaged in a protest over the incident, on Fourth Avenue Southwest in downtown Portland, directly in front of the Multnomah County courthouse.
8. The focus of the protestors, who were being actively monitored by police officers employed by the Portland Police Bureau (“PPD”), was the disruption of motor vehicle traffic traveling northward on Fourth Avenue, between Main and Salmon Streets. This was primarily done by having the protestors enter into the area of the crosswalk during the periods of time when the traffic light blocked the forward movement of traffic across the Main Street intersection, and then slowly moving back to the sidewalk: as the light changed, and traffic began to move forward.
9. At the approximate hour of 10:30 a.m., Plaintiff, who had a scheduled court hearing at the Multnomah County courthouse, was proceeding Northward on Fourth Avenue, approaching the courthouse block,when his progress was halted by the traffic light at the Main street intersection. Ashe waited at the light, he observed the protesters moving forward into the crosswalk: across the street, carrying their signs and placards. As the light changed, and traffic, including Plaintiff’s vehicle began to move across the intersection, the protesters slowly retreated back to the sidewalk area as the vehicular traffic approached.
10. As Plaintiff slowly moved across the intersection and crosswalk area, and the protesters moved back to the sidewalk, one protester – who had not been part of the group that had occupied the crosswalk – suddenly stepped into the traffic lane, and directly in front of Plaintiff’s vehicle.
11. Although Plaintiff – who at point was traveling at a speed of approximately seven miles per hour – immediately applied his brakes and came to a stop, the said protestor made a deliberate show of slamming his hands down on Plaintiff’s hood, and then spinning away, as though he had been struck, attempting to create the illusion that Plaintiff had deliberately run into him.
II. The False Arrest.
12. At this point, a supervisory PPD officer (“John Doe 1”) who had observed the interaction, stepped forward to apparently defuse and investigate the situation. Plaintiff immediately made the officer aware that the entire incident had been captured on his dashboard video camera – commonly referred to as a “dashcam” – and offered to replay the video recording for the officer.
13. The PPD officer declined the offer to view the dashcam recording, however he made a point of telling Plaintiff that he was not in trouble, and specifically, that he was “not under arrest”.
14. During this time, the protester continued to allege that he had been struck by Plaintiffs vehicle, despite being made aware of the existence of the dashcam video. At this point, a second, subordinate PPD officer (“John Doe 2”) joined the first, and they proceeded to discuss the incident between them, before John Doe 1 withdrew from the scene and left John Doe 2 as the investigatory officer. Again however, both Plaintiff and John Doe 2 were specifically told by John Doe1, that he was not in any trouble, and was not under arrest.
15. After John Doe 1 had left the scene, and following a period of discussion with the allegedly injured protester, John Doe 2 now informed Plaintiff that – contrary to the specific allegement and instruction by John Doe 1 and his earlier assurances to Plaintiff – that Plaintiffwas, in fact, being placed under arrest, and charged with four Class A misdemeanor counts for: 1) Reckless Driving, 2) Harassment, 3) Assault in the 4th Degree, and 4) Recklessly Endangering Another Person.
16. Despite Plaintiffs repeated offer and entreaties to John Doe 2, to simply view the dashcam video, the officer ignored the presence ofthe available exculpatory evidence available on the dashcam video, and placed Plaintiff into custody.
17. Following his arrest, Plaintiff was processed through the Multnomah County Correctional System, where he was subjected to fear, intimidation, humiliation, and public embarrassment, when his name and photograph were publicized by employees of the Multnomah County Correctional System.
ID. The Malicious Prosecution.
18. Thereafter, employees of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office, despite the clear and unequivocal video evidence available to them, proceeded to wrongfully bring Plaintiff to trial.
19. The criminal charges against Plaintiff were subsequently dismissed; the 4th Degree Assault and Recklessly Endangering Another Person charges were dismissed prior to trial, and the remaining charges were summarily dismissed by the trial judge, immediately upon viewing of the dashcam video.
With his mugshot plastered everywhere, media couldn’t wait to hang him, with rags such as the Portland Mercury writing:
According to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), 55-year-old Mark Dickerson ignored officers’ efforts to divert traffic for the protest, held at SW 4th and Main. Instead, he drove his Chevrolet truck into the crowd and hit one protestor, identified by fellow protestors at the scene as Portland activist Teressa Raiford.
In reality, there were no police actively trying to redirect traffic, the protester jumped in front of his truck multiple times, and Teressa Raiford was not the one.
During the protest, Arthuray Dudley, a man who identified himself as Kimmons’ older brother, was hit twice by a car but appears to not have sustained serious injuries.
Police pulled over a truck, cuffed the driver and put him in a police vehicle, though it wasn’t immediately clear if it was related to the protester being hit.
Mark A. Dickerson, a 55-year-old Portland man, was later identified as the driver of the Chevrolet 2500 pickup involved in the incident. Police said Dickerson was booked in the county jail on suspicion of fourth- degree assault, reckless endangering and reckless driving.
Radical bike cult site BikePortland.org lead with the headline of “A man was arrested today for purposely driving his car into protestors downtown” and immediately shifted the blame to “older white men” in general:
The protest took place on SW 4th Avenue and, according to the Portland Police Bureau, responding officers urged people to get onto the sidewalk. As they addressed the scene, a 55-year-old man purposely drove into them. Here’s the police statement:
The driver, Mark Dickerson, was put in jail and faces charges of Assault in the Fourth Degree, Reckless Endangering, and Reckless Driving.
I’m not close to the Patrick Kimmons case; but I approach this from a transportation/safe streets journalism and advocacy perspective. What happened today should not be seen as separate from the growing rhetoric around protestors and their use of the streets.
This stuff is dangerous. In today’s emotional political climate where protests are common, older white men feel victimized by a rapidly changing society, and hate toward others feels like it’s at an all-time high, we can’t allow our streets to become even more dangerous because people think it’s justifiable to mow protestors down with their cars.
All of this inflammatory rhetoric has resulted in a second lawsuit filed by Dickerson, this time taking aim at the media and their false accounts of the incident and ensuing slander. The Oregonian reports:
A driver who saw criminal charges against him dismissed when a key prosecution witness didn’t make himself available for trial filed a $750,000 defamation lawsuit last week against 11 Portland area media organizations.
Mark Alan Dickerson had been charged with reckless driving and harassment after prosecutors accused him of intentionally and slowly driving his pickup truck in October 2018 into a downtown Portland demonstrator, who was in the street protesting the police shooting death of Patrick Kimmons.
Dickerson, who is representing himself in the lawsuit, claims that the media outlets defamed him and intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon him by publishing stories about his arrest — “virtually all with false, misleading, and/or sensationalist headlines.”
Dickerson specifically refers to four headlines: “A man was arrested today for purposely driving his car into protesters downtown” on BikePortland.org, “Driver Hits Person Protesting Police Shooting in Downtown Portland Today” by Willamette Week, “Man Charged With Hitting Protesters With His Truck” by Portland Mercury, “Driver arrested for hitting protester in downtown Portland” by KPTV, according to his lawsuit.
Dickerson lists as defendants: The Oregonian/OregonLive.com, BikePortland.Org, Willamette Week, Portland Mercury, KPTV, KOIN, KATU, KGW, Portland Observer, Portland Tribune and The Columbian.
“Our coverage accurately reflected what law enforcement and prosecutors released about the case,” said Therese Bottomly, editor of The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Deputy District Attorney Jenna Plank wrote in a court memo that Dickerson could have avoided the entire encounter if he would have used one of the other two unobstructed lanes to go drive around protesters, like other cars had.
Dickerson’s defense attorney, William Aring Meyer, contended the protesters were the ones violating the law by, among other things, impeding traffic. Other protesters cleared out of his way, but Dudley looked directly at Dickerson and backed his body directly into Dickerson’s car, Meyer said.
The prosecution saw that differently, writing in the memo that “Mr. Dickerson intentionally drove his vehicle at low speed directly into Mr. Dudley.”
Immediately after the incident, the protesters apparently didn’t get the message and continued to stand directly in front of cars.
It didn’t appear the protester was hurt. A small police presence is on hand; I think the driver kept going. Testy interaction with another driver here. Video: pic.twitter.com/KtqXLKKvMu
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) October 31, 2018
The guy who backed in front of the truck gives an inaccurate account:
The man who was hit by the truck recounts the run-in (one bit of graphic language): pic.twitter.com/nyvf4zk30Q
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) October 31, 2018
Dickerson tells The Gateway Pundit that he’s representing himself “Because most of the experience I’ve had over the years, have proven that most lawyers are out for themselves, not for their client. Although they will claim otherwise, the proof is in the pudding so to say. The law was written for everyone, not just lawyers and if people would endeavor to educate themselves on the law, they will find it’s not as difficult as it might seem. Lawyers are very good at procedural steps because that’s the priority of their work which does give them an advantage.“
So, to summarize, police, prosecutors, protesters, and press are trying to get away with wrecking a man’s life, based off of police allowing mobs of protesters to take over the streets and threaten drivers, while targeting anyone who dares to not take their crap, then publishing false and cherry picked accounts of what did and didn’t happen while leaving out key details.