PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Three self-described counter-protesters and one photojournalist have filed a federal suit against three men they say are associated with the far-right group Proud Boys, alleging assault and battery stemming from encounters in Portland last month.
The suit seeks $1.25 million in damages against Alan Swinney, Corey Wyatt and David Willis, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. It was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland.
“Defendants, who are not residents of Portland, descended upon its downtown streets, sowing chaos, shooting at passers-by, spraying people with chemical weapons, and lobbing explosives with seeming impunity from local authorities,” the plaintiff’s lawyers wrote in the suit. “Their actions are neither lawful nor do they enhance public order; in fact, it is the exact opposite. They harmed the named Plaintiffs, and they harmed others. This is their call to account.”
The suit, brought by lawyers from the Oregon Justice Resource Center, was filed in part from violent clashes between far-right demonstrators and left-wing, anti-fascist protesters on Aug. 22. That day, Portland police said they were too short-staffed to break up fights.
Swinney, Wyatt and Willis could not be reached immediately for comment Friday, the newspaper said.
Rex Fergus, president of the Proud Boys, which is based in Washington state, said the named defendants “are not associated” with the Proud Boys.