Police Officer Hospitalized During Portland Demonstration

Photo: Portland Police

Demonstrators turned violent again last night in North Portland hitting police with rocks, glass bottles and physical violence. One police officer was hospitalized.

Here are the details from Portland Police:

A Portland Police Sergeant was sent to the hospital after being assaulted, and at least 5 officers were sprayed by a chemical irritant during an unlawful assembly in the Kenton Neighborhood.

On Monday, September 28, 2020, Portland Police learned of a planned unpermitted march initiating at Kenton Park, 8417 North Brandon Avenue. At about 8:45p.m., officers observed participants carrying shields, wearing body armor and helmets. The posture of the gathering suggested that it would become violent, as many such gatherings have been over the past 120-plus days. To lower the likelihood that members of the gathering would use the shields to protect those intent on committing crimes such as throwing objects at police, officers moved into the park and seized numerous shields. While they were performing their lawful duties, some in the crowd interfered and were arrested.

Officers observed a silver Subaru sedan associated with the gathering driving dangerously in the area and conducted a traffic stop. The vehicle was marked with red cross insignia, suggesting it was being used as an amateur medic transport. Inside the car the officers located a loaded handgun (photo). The driver, Jason Dye, 40, of Portland, was cited for Driving Uninsured, Failure to Signal Turn, and Failure to Properly Use Safety Belt. The investigation into the gun is continuing.

Officers disengaged from the park, but as they walked away individuals in the group began throwing water bottles at the them. The officers did not take action at that time and continued to disengage.

The group was advised via loudspeaker that they were welcome to demonstrate in the park but that there was no permit for a march in the street. The crowd walked on the sidewalk to the offices of the Portland Police Association (PPA) in the 1800 block of North Lombard Street. The PPA offices have been the focus of numerous violent and destructive protests in recent months. Individuals operating within large scale demonstrations have burglarized the building, set arson fires, cut the power to the building, broke windows, and caused other destruction. Several of those incidents devolved into riots where officers were forced to deploy tear gas and other munitions to move the violent and destructive crowd away.

This time, as the marchers approached, they were advised via loudspeaker that the sidewalk in front of the PPA was closed. They were also notified that North Lombard Street was open to vehicular traffic and they were not to block the roadway. They were directed to remain on the sidewalk on the north side of North Lombard Street.

While in the past, in an effort to deescalate, incident commanders have allowed demonstrations to block the street, it has not proved to be an effective strategy for preventing violence and arson. Despite the warnings, several people moved into the street and attempted to block traffic. Officers moved in and made more arrests.

The officers encountered violent resistance. People threw rocks and other hard objects at them. A sergeant was punched in the face and was transported to the hospital for treatment. Five other officers were sprayed with some kind of chemical.

Due to the persistent violence from individuals within the crowd, officers advised that it was an unlawful assembly via loudspeaker and Twitter. The assembly was ordered to disperse by traveling to the north on sidewalks. Failure to adhere to this order may subject them to arrest, citation, or crowd control agents, including, but not limited to, tear gas, OC (oleoresin capsicum) munitions and/or impact weapons. While CS gas is currently prohibited for use by Portland Police, state law still requires that the generalized term "tear gas" be included in such warnings.

Some of those arrested were wearing heavy body armor with rifle plating, were marked with "press" insignia and carrying a "press" pass, and possessed weapons such as knives and OC spray. Another who ran from police and was not caught threw a full sized baseball bat at the pursuing officers. See photos.

Officers made more arrests until the crowd dissipated about 1:30a.m.

24 people were arrested.