Jury sides with police after woman's wrist broken during arrest
PORTLAND, Ore. - A jury found on Thursday that Portland police officers did not use excessive force during an arrest of a woman who accused them of breaking her wrist.
Police pulled Morgan Harty over in September 2011 after they suspected her of drunken driving. The incident was recorded on a police dashboard camera.
Harty says she wasn't fighting with police. Officers say she was being uncooperative when they took her into custody.
On the dash cam video, Harty can be heard yelling, "You're hurting my arm!" as police work to remove her from her car. She also screams: "I can't, the door's locked! I'll get out. ... You broke my (expletive deleted) arm!"
Officers broke Harty's wrist when they pulled her out of her car that night.
She'd refused to get out of her car, which her attorneys say was within her rights.
But attorneys for the city said that once the officers told Harty she was under arrest, she was bound to follow their orders, whether she agreed with them or not.
"When two police officers are standing at your driver's side window, when they say, 'You're under arrest, please step out of the car,' we have a responsibility to step out of the car," said deputy city attorney, David Landrum.
Harty offered to take a Breathalyzer as officers led her away. Even though she was arrested for drunken driving, the Breathalyzer showed her blood alcohol was .03, which is well below the legal limit.
"She's the one that was right," said her attorney Greg Kafoury. "And she's the one, out of these 100 people that maybe one or two have force used on them, some small percentage of those who get hurt. She's the one who's broken. What's wrong with this picture?"
Most of the money Harty sought in her lawsuit, $440,000 was for noneconomic damages. Her attorneys and friends say she's suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since the incident.
The jury decided Harty would not receive any money at all.
Members of the jury declined to comment on the case as they left the courthouse. It was 9-3 decision.
One of the officers whose actions were supported by the jury's decision also declined comment.
Harty sat crying in court after the verdict.
Watch the raw dash cam video with the expletives deleted. Note: The first 30 seconds are silent.