Portland Police Add Liaison Officers To Demonstration Plan

The Portland Police Bureau continues to provide information and instructions for anticipated demonstrations scheduled for Saturday, August 17, 2019, in the area of Tom McCall Waterfront Park, located at 1020 Southwest Naito Parkway. The gatherings for the demonstrations may begin as soon as 9:30 a.m. The demonstrations will likely take place between Southwest Salmon Street and Southwest Morrison Street at Waterfront Park. These events are fluid in nature, and the public should be mindful that activity may take place outside of this area.

The intent of law enforcement is to provide a safe environment for all participants, non-participants, and community members while ensuring the peaceful exercise of the First Amendment. In order to increase safety for all, officers will be speaking and interacting with individuals from various groups. These interactions and communications are necessary to provide increased safety and should not be construed as bias, preference, or agreement with any particular view point or side. Law enforcement personnel's role is to protect and serve the public and this is done neutrally and in accordance with the Constitution, Federal, State, and local laws.

The Bureau has been collaborating with law enforcement and public safety partners to ensure that public safety is the top priority for all participants and community members. The public should expect a highly visible law enforcement presence in the downtown area for this event. The Portland Police Bureau canceled days off for sworn members; however, already critical staffing levels and pre-existing vacations or days off still impact the number of PPB personnel. Outside agency partners from across the region and state are providing assistance to the Portland Police Bureau in a variety of roles, including assisting with responding to emergency calls for service. A list of agencies who have been or will be assisting the Portland Police Bureau in a variety of roles is attached to this press release.

We ask those who have non-emergency calls on August 17th to consider reporting another day or reporting on-line at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/cor/ Life-threatening emergencies should be reported to 9-1-1. Call 9-1-1 if you can; text 9-1-1 if you can't. Texts to 9-1-1 cannot include emoticons, emoji's, pictures, or videos.

Based on publicly available information, the Bureau is concerned events on August 17 may involve persons interested in participating in criminal activity. The Portland Police Bureau has been planning for weeks to prepare the appropriate resource response to this event. The Police Bureau members and partner agencies are prepared to make arrests, even if large numbers of arrests are appropriate, if individuals and groups engage in criminal activity. Lawful orders provided by the sound truck or directly from sworn law enforcement personnel must be obeyed by all in the vicinity, including on-lookers, participants, and media. Those who do not obey the directions given are subject to arrest.

Force is not the preferred response for making arrests or keeping an area safe, but it is an option law enforcement personnel may utilize to prevent violence, protect themselves or others, or disperse a crowd, for example. Force options may include, but are not limited to: physical force, pepper spray, pepper balls, rubber ball distraction devices, or cs gas. It is imperative for those involved to listen to the admonishments from the sound trucks and law enforcement personnel or be subject to force.

The Portland Police Bureau's liaison teams attempt to work with all event organizers to establish an environment where community members may safely practice their First Amendment Rights of speech and assembly. The Police Bureau Liaison Teams are available to assist event organizers in planning a safe event for participants, Portland community members, and businesses. Liaison Officers may be contacted at: PPBLiaison@portlandoregon.gov or through its Twitter account: @PPBLiaison.

The Liaison Officers will be wearing white polo shirts with "Liaison Officer" on the shirts, along with gray pants so they are highly visible to all. The Liaison Officers have been attempting and making contact with some of the participants and will continue to do so.

The Police Bureau encourages road users to be aware of the potential for traffic interruptions and to plan for alternate routes in and around Downtown Portland on Saturday. As of the time of this release, the following closures are planned:

  • The Hawthorne Bridge will be closed in both directions to vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic on August 17th beginning at early as 4 a.m. for an undetermined amount of time.
  • Southwest 2nd Avenue from Southwest Madison to Main Streets will be closed to vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic on August 17th beginning as early as 4 a.m. for an undetermined amount of time.

Demonstration events are dynamic in nature and it may be necessary to close other streets the day of the events for the public's safety. The area of impact downtown is fluid and updates will be provided via Twitter and/or media releases as appropriate.

At the time of this release, no permits have been obtained for Saturday's demonstrations. Other than the previously mentioned planned closures, the streets remain open to vehicular traffic. There are no permits issued for any street marches. Unpermitted marchers should remain on sidewalks and obey traffic laws. Failure to do so may result in arrest and/or citations.

Check https://trimet.org/#alerts/ before heading out on transit, or sign up for TriMet service alerts by email or text message at https://trimet.org/emailupdates/index.htm If police determine an area has become unsafe, TriMet will adjust their service for the safety of their riders and employees.

PPB wants to remind the public of the following city codes and Oregon Revised Statues:

*Per Portland City Code, it is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm in public unless you have a valid Oregon concealed handgun license or as specified in the code. See https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/article/332592

*The City of Portland has specific conduct rules and laws that apply to parks: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/?c=28627 including a specific prohibition on the possession of weapons in parks: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/article/641629

*Oregon has NO concealed handgun license reciprocity with any other state, and it is a crime to carry a concealed handgun in Oregon unless you have and present for inspection a valid OREGON concealed handgun license (Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 166.250 and ORS 166.291: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors166.html

Prohibited items may be temporarily or permanently seized by police, if in violation of city, state or federal law.

*Bias motivated crimes are unlawful as outlined in Oregon Revised Statutes 166.165 and 166.155. If anyone believes they were the victim of such crimes, they are encouraged to contact police and file a report.

Incidents that threaten life, safety or property will be investigated thoroughly. People who participate in illegal behavior, including acts of physical violence, will be subject to immediate arrest or citation on Saturday or at a later time after additional investigation has occurred. People near others who are preparing to or in the act of committing criminal behavior are encouraged to separate themselves from the group and notify police.

The Portland Police Bureau intends to share pertinent information with the community on the day of the events through its main Twitter account: @PortlandPolice, including frequent situational status videos.

Anyone with information about criminal behavior being planned prior to this event, or observes criminal behavior during this event, or learns of it after this event, is asked to share it by email to CrimeTips@portlandoregon.gov.

If anyone is the victim of a crime during this event, they are encouraged to call 9-1-1 for emergency and (503) 823-3333 to make a police report.

Source: Portland Police Bureau

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