Tag Archives: Liz Nichols

Occupy Portland’s Pepper Spray Chick Loses Federal Case Against Portland Police

Occupy Portland Pepper spray guilty“Pepper Spray Chick” Liz Nichols either has a lot of money or she is the lucky recipient of free legal help. How else to explain her decision to bring her case against Portland Police even after her swing-and-a-miss in State Court? Whiffing against the bigs–Tilting at Windmills–can be noble. But this case? This case was just plain dumb. 

Pepper Spray Chick Liz was part of a phalanx of Occupy types who planned to storm downtown Portland banks on November 17, 2011–“N17”. They planned to do what they’d done before: intimidate, frighten and threaten workers at Chase Bank,  toss feces or  throw Molotov cocktails. They’d done it all before. 

But Occupiers kept pushing the line of riot-gear-outfitted-cops toward the wall of the bank. Their backs were nearly against the wall of the bank and their options of getting out safely were diminishing. It was getting to be a logistical problem. 

Occupy Portland N17 ICONIC PHOTOEnter the cops little ice cream truck. Well, it’s not really an ice cream truck, it’s a little white truck outfitted with a huge speaker that reminds you of an ice cream truck. The large speaker affixed to the top of the truck blares whatever message the cops need you to hear. You have to not want to hear it to, uh, not hear it.

Even in the midst of the melee, a person I know who was recording the event said it was easy to hear the truck speaker above the crowds. The speaker told the crowds to step away from the cops and the bank and to stay out of the street. 

But even as they advanced at the cops trying to storm the bank, Occupiers chanted “peaceful, peaceful, peaceful” as if the mere act of saying the word sprinkled fairy dust on their aggressive actions and poof! made them ‘peaceful.’ 

Utter nonsense. 

The jury of three men and four women didn’t buy it, either, finding the two officers involved not guilty of excessive force in land speed record time. After the nearly five day trial, the jury got the case on Friday afternoon and managed to acquit the officers in short order later Friday afternoon.  

Nichols was looking for a $30,000 payday, saying the incident gave her nightmares and exacerbated her eczema. 

She didn’t get it. Occupy Portland Pepper spray attorney

Her attorney said he was sorry they didn’t win because people need to “feel safe going downtown, coming and bringing their families and not being the victims of pepper spray.” 

He must think we all forget what it was like during Occupy and how people didn’t want to bring their families to downtown Portland and were afraid of being victims of the anarchists wielding things much worse than pepper spray. 



Victoria Taft is a wife, mother, blogger, radio talk show host and entrepreneur and is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.  

Occupy’s Pepper Spray Chick Goes to Federal Court

Occupy Portland N17 ICONIC PHOTOAnd Liz Nichols, who has taken her cause to federal court, will lose just as she lost before in court (here)

Here’s the photo taken by the Oregonian’s Randy Rasmussen that has become an iconic symbol of the Portland Occupy movement. 

It looked to be a raw use of force by the cops against a diminutive female. She claimed she was being “peaceful.” But she and her hundreds of protesting friends were anything but. The Occupiers consistently chanted how peaceful they were being in large crowds–at the same time they were resisting the police, digging at them, kicking them and spitting at them. This was, after all, the same crowd that threw at IED at a Portland Police officer, disabling him, threw molotov cocktails, tried to throw a Portland cop under an oncoming bus etc.  

 My post after the event of the “N17” (November 17, 2011) had thorough going over of the events leading to the spraying. 

Here’s what I reported,

Why was she sprayed?

So now that you’ve seen the “After” picture that will go on every protester poster and may even be included in the next PSU sociology syllabi,  what about the “Before” picture?
 Here’s a photo from KPTV from their helicopter:
Photo Credit: KPTV Screen Shot                  

There’s also something else that former Sheriff and Police Chief (and Blogforce member) Bernie Giusto notes about the above photo. The cops’ backs are almost against the wall of the bank. They’ve got nowhere else to go. They’ve got to protect the space or be overwhelmed. 

“Police officers with nowhere to go and faced with an overwhelming number of demonstrators who are outwardly aggressive, need to push back and push back hard.”

Police say the protesters were pushing on the cops in unprecedented fashion as Officers tried to keep them from rushing the bank: 

Photo Credit: KPTV Screen Shot


Here’s another overhead from the KPTV chopper to give you more context.  

Photo Credit: KPTV Screen Shot

This woman is not a victim and the cops weren’t wrong to deploy the pepper spray. She asked for it. 

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