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Appeals Court Overturns Eugene Protester Conviction

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Tim Lewis / Eugene Weekly
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The Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed the 2009 resisting-arrest conviction of a man who was tased by police at an anti-pesticide rally in Eugene. 

Ian Van Ornum was 18 years old when he participated in the protest downtown in 2008. Police warned him to stay out of the street before arresting him for disorderly conduct. During the arrest, officers twice used a stun gun on Van Ornum while he was on the ground. The Appeals Court said a trial judge erred in describing for jurors when a person is allowed to use self-defense in response to an officer's use of unreasonable force. Laura Fine Moro was Van Ornum's trial attorney.
"It is a victory for Mr. Van Ornum, but it leaves unresolved the matter of how citizens can safely protect themselves from unlawful use of force. I also think that it taps into the national debate that we have right now about police use of force and mis-use of force and how citizens respond."
The Lane County District Attorney has declined to re-try the case. Fine Moro says Van Ornum has moved on with his life, has a family and a music career.

 

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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