I am Michelle Burrows, civil rights attorney who has spent the last 30 years suing police and prisons for abuse of force and the mistreatment of people.
Hi everyone. I'm Michelle Burrows, a civil rights attorney based out of Portland, Oregon. I've spent the last 30 years suing police, police departments, and the prison systems for widespread abuse of people and misuse of power.
I'm well known for cases like Anstett v. State of Oregon, a prisoner class action for the non-treatment of Hepatitis C in the Oregon prison system. As a result, we entered into a stipulated agreement which enforced new standards and protocols for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Hep C in the prison systems. The outcome also included a multi-year monitoring system with a federal supervisory judge to verify that the parties followed through.
Another important landmark case for Oregon was Kaady v. City of Sandy and Clackamas County. Where two officers tazed and shot Mr. Fouad Kaady in the back multiple times while he was naked, covered in third degree burns, and looking for help after his car caught fire through mechanical failure. The law firm of Gerry Spence approached me to be local council where we won a substantial settlement and were able to change the scope of what constitutes lethal force in Oregon. This case was fundamental in classifying tazers as lethal force in the state of Oregon and was instrumental in changing public perception of use-of-force in Oregon.
More recently I represented Lisa Dunn v. City of Eugene for systematic rape, abuse, and kidnapping by an on duty police officer over the course of five years. The city police department ignored the indiscretions and allowed the abuse to continue unchecked. We sued and won. The officer was sentenced to 90 years and Lisa was monetarily compensated, although that won't make up for years of abuse.
My son is helping me with this AMA because I don't know how to use the internet.
Edit 10am PST: Michelle has to take a work call, we'll be back at 11am or 11:30am PST to keep answering all of your amazing questions! Be back soon! She's really loving this, thank you everyone!
Edit 11:29am PST: We're back!
Edit 1:59pm PST: Received this DM. Wow. Appears there are some officers who disagree with my position. This message represents a part of the problem we're seeing across the country. Fuck racism and racists.
Edit 6:30pm PST: Thank you everyone, we had a LOT of fun. These questions were intelligent, provocative, and challenging. Keep up the fight, and never give up! Thank you for letting me be a part of your community for the day. I'll check back in over the next few days to see if anything new needs answered.
Edit 2020-06-15 1:30pm PST: I couldn't stay away. I've answered a few more questions.