News News from America Port­land Police declare unlaw­ful assem­bly at East Precinct

Port­land Police declare unlaw­ful assem­bly at East Precinct

Pro­test­ers returned to the police sta­tion on the city’s east side for a late-night ral­ly that began Thurs­day, Aug. 6.

Port­land Police Bureau declared an unlaw­ful assem­bly and offi­cers made mul­ti­ple arrests as demon­stra­tors returned to the city’s east­ern police sta­tion and set a trash can on fire — prompt­ing a dis­per­sal order that last­ed for hours on Thurs­day night, Aug. 6.

The clash between per­haps 300 pro­test­ers and bands of offi­cers wear­ing riot gear began around 9 p.m., near the East Precinct on South­east 106th Avenue, but the black-clad ral­ly­go­ers were pushed back blocks away to Stark and 113th as offi­cers used smoke bombs, pep­per spray and pep­per balls at times, as well as punc­tur­ing the tires of a protest vehicle.

The clash came a day after pro­test­ers stormed the east police precinct build­ing, blocked exits and start­ed a fire. On Wednes­day, Port­land May­or Ted Wheel­er said, “When you com­mit arson with an accel­er­ant in an attempt to burn down a build­ing that is occu­pied by peo­ple who you have inten­tion­al­ly trapped inside, you are not demon­strat­ing, you are attempt­ing to com­mit murder.”

On Thurs­day, a man play­ing an acoustic gui­tar with an unlit cig­a­rette clenched between his teeth had his gui­tar struck by a police muni­tion as he strummed on, leav­ing a green residue on his instrument.

The musi­cian said he had pre­vi­ous­ly worn body armor to protests, but for the past two nights had brought noth­ing but music.

“I try to lift the spir­its,” he said. “I thought, you know, maybe I’ll try com­ing out in a more de-esca­la­tora­to­ry way to raise morale.”

Not every­one in the neigh­bor­hood was pleased to see protests spread far from their pre­vi­ous epi­cen­ter downtown.

A half-dozen res­i­dents from the Mill Park area gath­ered out­side the board­ed-up East Precinct before the ral­ly began. Many of their num­ber left as the crowd formed, but one woman using a walk­er and hold­ing a “BLM” sign for “Black Lives Mat­ter” attempt­ed to extin­guish the trash fire, lead­ing to much heat­ed conversation.

“I need to make a stand for my neigh­bor­hood,” anoth­er man said, say­ing he had lived four blocks away for the past 20 years. “I’m not here to bust any­one’s head and I’m cer­tain­ly not down here to get my head busted.”

Anoth­er near­by res­i­dent, Dan Dam­ron, said he sup­ports the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment but thought it had got­ten “out of hand.

“When they start hurt­ing prop­er­ty and dam­ag­ing things, then it’s not right,” the 72-year-old said.

Pro­test­ers also clashed with res­i­dents of a trail­er park, where one domi­cile was spray-paint­ed after a woman report­ed­ly appeared out of doors dur­ing the Wednes­day night protest wear­ing a Nazi armband.

The num­ber of arrests made by police was not imme­di­ate­ly announced, but the cumu­la­tive total over 70 nights of demon­stra­tions is now at least 600.

Offi­cers were observed push­ing legal observers dur­ing the protest and made sev­er­al “bull-rush” style charges into the crowd at times.

Source: Port­landtri­bune / Zane Sparling