Deputy District Attorney Eric Palmer said Baur’s case was dismissed Tuesday because the man with the pro-Trump hat, Lortie, told prosecutors he no longer wanted to testify. He cited the distance he’d have to travel from his home, far outside Portland.
Kelly Marshall Baur told The Oregonian/OregonLive that she shouldn’t have been criminally prosecuted for removing the hat, given that she thought Lortie was there to taunt counter-protesters as they were being boxed in by police and about to be arrested. She said Lortie was willingly engaging in a shouting match with her and others.
Baur said she thought his hat — which celebrated the election of Donald Trump with words and an American flag — was offensive. So she took it off of his head, she said.
“There’s a distinguishing line between what’s criminal and stuff that happens at protests,” said Baur. “It’s not like I hit him in the face. It wasn’t his person that I was attacking, it was this clear message that disregarded humanity that was on his head.”
According to court papers filed by Baur’s defense attorney, John Robb, during the encounter Baur and her friend yelled “Go home, Nazi!” at Lortie. And Lortie responded by yelling back “Go home, ISIS!”
Police stepped in between them, then ordered Lortie to leave, Robb said. Lortie continued to shout and police let him have at it, Robb said.
That’s when Baur grabbed Lortie’s hat, and officers knocked Baur to the ground and shoved a knee into her back, according to the defense. Police handcuffed her and brought her to jail.
Police reports, however, describe a different version of events: Baur yelling within inches of Lortie’s face — and Lortie staying calm and refusing to shout back. Police said Baur ignored orders from several officers to stop, and she was arrested after grabbing the hat from Lortie.
Baur’s defense attorney, Robb, said cellphone video contradicts the police account.
Baur had her share of supporters, who were planning to fill a Multnomah County Circuit courtroom if her case had gone to trial. Robb said Baur’s case touched a nerve among counter-protesters who believe that Portland police favored alt-right demonstrators, that police used too much violence in arresting counter protesters and that police inaccurately described what happened in their reports.
Baur is a documentary filmmaker and a farmer. She has no criminal history.
— Aimee Green
(c)2018 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
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