BEND, Ore. (AP) – A former Oregon police officer filed a lawsuit saying he faced retaliation within the department for reporting a former police chief struck him with his arm while holding a metal sign.

The Bulletin reported Joseph Patnode is suing the Sunriver Police Department, Police Chief Cory Darling, a Sunriver Service District board administrator and a department deputy.

Patnode’s lawsuit alleges a violation of his free speech rights and retaliation for whistleblowing.

The former Sunriver police sergeant is seeking $2.5 million in damages.

Patnode says a former police chief struck him and another officer was promoted over him for reporting the incident.