OR Supreme Court Orders Eugene To Release Records In Taser Case

Sep 16, 2016

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled the City of Eugene must publicly release documents from a police investigation into the conduct of officers who used a stun gun to subdue a protester in 2008. The decision could have implications for future cases involving suspected police misconduct.

A photo taken during the arrest of Ian Van Ornum during a downtown Eugene protest in 2008.
Credit Tim Lewis / Eugene Weekly

Ian Van Ornum, an 18-year-old University of Oregon student had accused Eugene Police of excessive force when they arrested him during a downtown protest. An internal investigation found officers acted in line with department policies. The American Civil Liberties Union sued to get access to the investigation records. Eight years later, the court says there needs to be more transparency and the city will finally have to release them. Kimberly McCullough with the ACLU of Oregon says the ruling will impact other public records requests.
McCullough“The Supreme Court’s ruling was analyzing when it’s in the public interest to release records and that public interest test is what courts will be looking at when they analyze whether or not to release body cam footage.”
City spokeswoman Jan Bohman says they’ll review the records. The ruling allows limited redactions to the documents it must release to the ACLU.