A man who was mistaken by Portland police as a graffiti tagger and then hit with a stun gun over and over has won a $250,000 settlement with the Portland City Council.
Dan Halsted was innocently walking home in northeast Portland, when an officer stunned him five times with a Taser in the back because he thought he sprayed some graffiti on a wall nearby in the Sullivan’s Gulch neighborhood.
When a sudden flashlight met his eyes, Halsted said he immediately stopped, and then heard a voice say ‘Get Him!’
In the pitch dark night, Halsted said he thought he was being jumped, because the officers chasing him never identified themselves as the police.
According to Halsted, the entire process has left him with a deepened distrust in police, especially after the trial when the city’s attorney tried to use Halsted’s classic kung fu film collection against him, saying it proved he was violent.
Halsted is both a film collector and an employee at the Hollywood Theater.
The settlement comes not long after a city audit, which recommended police limit the times a person’s stunned.
Most police agencies train officers to stun suspects up to three times. According to the Police Bureau, officers recently completed refresher training on the use of Tasers.