PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police arrested eight people and fired crowd-control munitions to disperse protesters who threw rocks and bottles during demonstrations in front of law enforcement buildings on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Police say the series of confrontations began outside the Multnomah County Justice Center, where protesters seeking racial justice in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis last month used fencing and street barricades to block off a street.
Police say that lasers were shined into officers eyes, and rocks, bottles and paint were thrown at them during the demonstration.
Civil liberties advocates said in a lawsuit Sunday that the police response to recent demonstrations appeared designed to squelch free speech.
Portland Police Bureau news release:
June 27-28 2020 Demonstration-8 Arrested (Photo)
Portland Police Bureau - 06/28/20 9:43 AM
A group of demonstrators started gathering around 7:30 p.m. on June 27, 2020 and began blocking the street at Southwest 3 Avenue/Main Street. They formed a human chain to pull plastic barriers out of the pit at Southwest 2/Salmon Street behind a former restaurant. The fencing and barricades appeared to be cabled together and were used to block off the street. A woman with a hand held speaker was heard calling for violent resistance from the crowd.
Warnings and direction were given numerous times from the sound truck and on social media including: the streets were open to vehicular traffic, to get out of the street, and not to block the street with barricades. The crowd remained in the street and continued to block the intersection with fence panels and barricades. Graffiti was applied to the Justice Center, the Federal Courthouse, and the surrounding area including several tags about killing cops.
Just prior to 10:30 p.m., an unlawful assembly was declared. Warning were again provided by sound truck and social media and a dispersal order was given, including notice that arrests, force, or crowd control munitions may be used. The crowd remained in the area.
Officers responded to the intersection and made efforts to move the crowd away from the barricades so they could be cleared and the street could re-open. During this engagement, officers had rocks, glass bottles, and paint thrown at them. Lasers and lights were directed at the officer's eyes. Crowd control munitions were used during this interaction, but not CS gas.
The barricades and materials blocking the streets were removed and officers began leaving the area. As soon as the officers left the area, the crowd moved back to the intersection and remained in the street.
At about 1:20 a.m., the group moved to Southwest 2 Avenue between Madison and Main Streets and began to block the Central Precinct door and the roll down gates. Warnings were again provided and arrests were made. During an arrest attempt, an officer was struck in the face with a skateboard and sustained minor injury. The subject who resisted arrest and assaulted the officer with the skateboard was arrested.
Two dumpsters were pulled from a nearby building into the street. An unlawful assembly was again declared and the area of Southwest 1-4 Avenues/Clay to Morrison were closed. The crowd was ordered to disperse. A few sidewalk garbage cans were set on fire. The closure area was extended to include the area up to 6 Avenue. Efforts to disperse the crowd were made when they did not disperse on their own; crowd control munitions were used, but not CS gas.
The crowd was mostly dispersed just after 2 a.m.
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office personnel were present and responsible for the County portion of the Justice Center. Refer to them directly for inquiries related to their interactions.
The following individuals were arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on the listed criminal charges:
Franchesca Thepenier, 25 years-old, Interfering With a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct II
Tarina Bryan, 27 years-old, Resisting Arrest, Interfering With a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct II
Carly Ballard, 34 years-old, Interfering With a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct II
Chris Myers, 28 years-old, Escape III, Interfering With a Police Officer, Criminal Mischief II, Unlawful Use of A Weapon, Carry Concealed Weapon, Riot, Reckless Burning
Daniel Sanchez, 38 years-old, Interfering With a Police Officer, Escape III
The following subjects were criminally cited:
Richard Singlestad, 26 years-old, Assaulting a Public Safety Officer, Disorderly Conduct II
Michael Backman, 39 years-old, Interfering With a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct II
Joshua Thomas, 34 years-old, Interfering With a Police Officer