Cyclist alleges police beat and tasered him for being black

The Oregon resident claims police brutally assaulted him because of his race and has filed a federal lawsuit

Topics: Jermaine Robinson, Hillsboro, Racial profiling, Police brutality, Racism, Police, Law enforcement, tasers, Taser, ,

Cyclist alleges police beat and tasered him for being black

An Oregon man named Jermaine Robinson filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday, alleging that two Hillsboro City police officers physically assaulted and tasered him in 2012 after racially profiling him and stopping him for “bicycle violations.”

Robinson claims the officers threw him off his bike, tasered him two times and drove their knees into his back with such force that he suffered a herniated disk and now needs to undergo surgery on his back.

The officers arrested Robinson and charged him with resisting arrest. He was acquitted by a jury in 2013.

Robinson is also criticizing the city’s police department for “not [requiring] appropriate training of officers regarding the proper circumstances under which a Taser should be employed” and requesting that the department initiate a new training program to guard against racial profiling.

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A similar incident made Oregon headlines in 2008, when Portland police tasered biker Phil Sano. Cops tried to stop Sano for biking without a light. When Sano didn’t immediately stop, he claimed cops threw him against a wall and tasered him twice. As one witness described it, “the cop took two steps after him, grabbed him by the shirt, yanked him off the bike, ran him up the sidewalk and slammed him against the wall and then right away started tasing him.”

Cops said they only used a taser after Sano became “combative.” A jury acquitted Sano of charges of resisting arrest.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.

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