Portland City Council to review $90k settlement after 2014 police confrontation

By Tony Hernandez | Oregon Live | November 25, 2016

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The Portland City Council will consider Wednesday a $90,000 settlement proposal to prevent a lawsuit from a teen who was roughed up by police in 2014.

The City Council's agenda item shows Thai Gurule and his attorney, Stephen Houze, could receive the settlement if approved. Gurule was arrested in September 2014 and accused by police of resisting arrest and assaulting officers during a scuffle in the St. Johns neighborhood.

In March 2015, a Multnomah County judge ruled that Gurule, 16 years old at the time, wasn't guilty of assaulting police officers and dismissed charges stemming from the North Portland confrontation.

Cellphone video from two bystanders showed three officers tackling, punching, kneeing, using a Taser and pulling the hair of the teen. The judge said police had used excessive force in their dealing with the teen. The judge also ruled that police shouldn't have stopped Gurule because they didn't have probable cause.

Negotiations later took place between both parties through private mediation "prior to a lawsuit being filed," according to City Council records. A spokesman for Mayor Charlie Hales, who oversees the Police Bureau, could not be reached Friday.

A woman who said she was Gurule's mother declined to comment. Houze could not be reached. The Oregonian/OregonLive, in a 2015 editorial, reported that Houze took the case for free at the request of a friend who volunteered at Roosevelt High School.

The City Council records show the attorney could receive a $32,021 check, if approved. The remainder of the settlement would go to Pacific Life & Annuity Services.