Eric Navickas Faces Off With Ashland Police

June 29, 2011

By Steven Sandberg

ASHLAND, Ore. — A former Ashland city councilman ends up slammed to the hood of a police car while protesting in the street. He’s now at odds with police over how much force was used.

The incident happened while Navickas and others were protesting the expansion of the Mt. Ashland Ski Area. Former Ashland City Councilman Eric Navickas says he was targeted, but Ashland Police said he was resisting arrest, and NewsWatch12’s camera caught the whole thing.

NewsWatch12 took the video to Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness, who says it shows a clear-cut example of disorderly conduct by the former city councilman. Holderness says the group of protestors did not have a permit to march in the street, and were told by police several times to move to the sidewalk.

Police say they were concerned that the march in the street in rainy weather would be dangerous. After several warnings, an officer approached Navickas, who was leading the rally. Police say Navickas resisted, and when they moved him toward the car to handcuff him, they say Navickas exaggerated the force used by the officer.

Navickas admitted the group did not have a permit to walk in the street, but says the group was acting peacefully, and says Ashland Police overreacted to the protest. Navickas was able to break free from police, and officers decided not to arrest him because the group immediately moved to the sidewalk.