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Violence erupts in Portland’s Pearl District; police detain 100, charge 13

Windows were broken Friday night in Portland's Pearl District; police displayed some of the items found on those detained
Portland Police Bureau
Windows were broken Friday night in Portland's Pearl District; police displayed some of the items found on those detained

Also: Man indicted in Portland's Roosevelt statue toppling last fall

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police said they detained a crowd of about 100 protesters Friday night when violence broke out during a demonstration, halting the march minutes after it started. Thirteen people were charged with crimes.

The mass detainment shortly after 9 p.m. Friday in the Pearl District appeared to an example of kettling, a police tactic of surrounding a crowd and containing people within a perimeter, The Oregonian/ reported.

In a tweet and at the scene, police said they were detaining everyone within the boundary for the “investigation of a crime.”

“You are not free to leave. You must stay where you are and comply with officers’ lawful orders,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a tweet.

Adam Costello, a livestream videographer, told the newspaper that two windows were broken during the early stages of the demonstration. Costello said that may have prompted police to set up the perimeter.

In January, a group of protesters carrying signs against President Joe Biden and police marched in Portland on Inauguration Day and damaged the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon, police said.

Portland has been the site of frequent protests, many involving violent clashes between officers and demonstrators, ever since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Over the summer, there were demonstrations for more than 100 straight days.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has decried what he described as a segment of violent agitators who detract from the message of police accountability and should be subject to more severe punishment.

Meanwhile,  a grand jury has indicted a man in the toppling of a Theodore Roosevelt statue in Portland by protesters last year.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Brandon Bartells was charged with riot and first-degree criminal mischief.

The statue was pulled down, along with Abraham Lincoln’s statue, on the South Park Blocks by about 200 protesters in an Oct. 11 event promoted as an “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage.”

The crowd threw chains or ropes on the bronze Roosevelt statue as others took a blowtorch to its base and splattered it with red paint.

It wasn't immediately known if Bartells has a lawyer to comment.

March in Pearl District Ends With Property Destruction, Group Detained (Photo)
Portland Police Bureau - 03/13/21 3:52 AM

Officers detained a group of about 100 in a march that devolved into property destruction in the Pearl District.

On Friday, March 12, 2021 at about 9:00p.m., a group began marching in the street, blocking vehicular traffic, from Jamison Park, 810 Northwest 11th Avenue. They were advised by loudspeaker that the street was open to vehicular traffic, but the crowd continued to march in the street.

At about 9:15p.m., at Northwest 15th Avenue and Northwest Overton Street, some in the crowd began breaking windows. Officers moved in to address the criminal behavior. They created a perimeter around the group on Northwest Marshall Street between Northwest 13th Avenue and Northwest 14th Avenue.

The group was advised that they were being detained for investigation of crimes, they were not free to leave, and they should comply with officers' lawful orders. Failure to comply may result in arrest or force being used against them to include, but not limited to, crowd control agents, impact weapons, or tear gas.

Legal observers, press, and anyone who was medically fragile or anyone who needs immediate medical attention were invited to leave the enclosed area if they wished. Those that were being detained were identified and photographed, as part of a criminal investigation, before being released.

Some refused to comply and locked arms together in an effort to interfere with the investigation. Officers escorted them away and they were arrested. A suspect in the earlier window vandalism was arrested and charged.

Officers discovered numerous items left behind by people inside the perimeter, including a crowbar, hammers, bear spray, slugging weapon with rocks, high impact slingshot, and knives.

As the event unfolded, groups formed on the outside and physically challenged officers. Some threw rocks and full cans of beer at officers. Officers deployed some OC (pepper) spray and one impact munition. Arrests were made, including two suspects carrying firearms, wearing body armor and helmets.

Thirteen people were charged with crimes. Two were booked into jail, the rest issued criminal citations in lieu of custody. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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