PORTLAND, Ore (Reuters) – An Oregon man who claims his rights were violated last year when he was arrested outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland for playing his violin in the nude is suing the police department and others for $1.1 million.
Matthew Mglej, 25, says officers used excessive force, unlawfully detained him and violated his constitutional rights when they arrested him during his free expression demonstration last May, according to the lawsuit filed in the Portland Division of US District Court of Oregon last week.
Mglej, of the Portland suburb of Hillsboro, says officers dragged him across concrete to the police car while he was naked, dropping him several times in the arrest process, according to the lawsuit. He also says he had cuts on his wrists from the handcuffs and was not allowed to contact a lawyer.
Officials with the Portland city attorneys office declined comment, saying they had not yet been served with the suit. Portland police and officials with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, also named in the suit, declined comment.
Police said officers responded to Mglej’s demonstration, in which he stripped off all his clothes, played his violin and made signs about freedom, after receiving numerous complaints.