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Jury Awards $3.15M to Man Falsely Arrested by Police in Oregon

A Portland jury awarded $3.15 million in damages to a Salem man who was falsely arrested by a police officer who used excessive force.

Chris Garza was working on a car near his home in Salem when David Baker, a Salem police officer, accused Garza of stealing the car, grabbed his arm, twisted it behind his back, shoved him against the hood of Baker’s patrol car, and pushed his arms upward — a move that is acknowledged to frequently cause serious injury. Baker handcuffed Garza and put him in his patrol car.

The jury awarded Garza $150,000 for economic damages from the excessive force, to cover the costs of medical treatment, including surgery, for his shoulder injury; $1 million for noneconomic damages, which covers pain and suffering and emotional distress; and $2 million in punitive damages, which are meant as punishment.


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