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PORTLAND -- An Occupy Portland protester will be in federal court Tuesday as part of her civil lawsuit against police.

She has accused officers of excessive force for using pepper spray on her during the November 2011 protests.

An Oregonian photo widely circulated during the protests showed police spraying Liz Nichols in the face.

More: See photo, more on lawsuit

Nichols also said that officers pulled her hair and used a baton on her. She was part of a large Occupy Portland protest at the time and was arrested, along with others, on Nov. 17, 2011.

Her lawsuit claims that the city violated her free speech rights by condoning the use of pepper spray in peaceful protests.

City attorneys have declined to publicly comment on the lawsuit.

Nichols' attorneys have said that the $155,000 lawsuit is not about money. They said it's an effort to change the city's policy regarding use of pepper spray and crowd control.

KGW cameras were there and captured Nichols among a large crowd of people yelling at police, right before she got sprayed in the face.

An Oregonian photographer also snapped an award-winning picture of the moment when Nichols was pepper-sprayed.

While police officials could not comment on the pending trial, they responded to the incident, saying officers had made repeated loud commands for people, including Nichols, to clear the street.

Background: Occupy Portland protests in Portland

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