PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A protest that erupted Wednesday at Portland City Hall after the City Council ratified a new police contract dispersed after about 6 hours.
A total of 10 protesters were arrested and one officer was injured, police told KOIN 6 News.
The officer was injured inside City Hall by someone in the crowd, but that officer’s injuries were described as “not serious,” PPB said. Authorities are still looking for whoever is responsible.
Protesters blocked traffic off and on again at Southwest 5th Avenue throughout the afternoon. As soon as police would leave, protesters spilled back out into the street, blocking traffic and MAX trains.
Shortly after 5 p.m., protest organizers said “we are going to disperse this protest now.”
Organizer Gregory McKelvey, though, said they were planning “something massive for Friday.”
McKelvey said the actions today were “the most anti-democratic thing we’ve seen from Portland City Hall.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies assisted PPB during Wednesday’s protests.
While PPB said that free speech events don’t require a permit, marches or demonstrations that restrict the movement of other community members do. Police said no permits were issued for the Wednesday protest.
PPB first cleared the street around 2:15 p.m. Officers in riot gear spread out in front of City Hall and played a recorded message warning protesters to clear the sidewalk and street or they could be arrested.
Those officers cleared out around 2:50 p.m. That’s when protesters retook the street. Since then, police have returned, left and returned once more.
How it began
This all started Wednesday morning after the Portland City Council approved a controversial police contract. Demonstrators refused to leave City Hall, moving their tents into the building. Police said protesters threw bottles at officers in City Hall, and that’s when they were cleared out of the building.
Some protesters were given medical attention after being pepper sprayed. They could be seen pouring milk onto their faces for relief. At least three ambulances were brought to the scene.
After the initial clash, protesters moved into the street and blocked traffic, including MAX and TriMet buses, but police were called to clear the street.
Some protesters defied police orders and 10 were arrested after the police cleared the street. Three were booked into the Multnomah County jail while the others were cited and released Wednesday.
- Jonny Perez, 23, booked for assaulting a public safety officer, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and interfering with emergency response
- Robert Lee West, 51, booked for coercion, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct
- Sarabeth Rachel Long, 38, booked for coercion, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct
- David Kif Davis, 44, cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
- Hallie Bernhof, 20, cited for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass
- Carlton Smith, 43, cited for disorderly conduct
- Henrick De-Savy, 21, cited for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
- James Mattox, 27, cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
- Frank Martinez Jr., 24, cited for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and interring with a public safety officer
- Benjamin Kerensa, 32, cited for theft
Former Portland mayoral candidate Jesse Sponberg told KOIN 6 News he was pepper sprayed twice. He called police “traitors to everything this city stands for.”
“I’ve lived in Portland a long time, and that’s the craziest police brutality I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Sponberg also laid some blame on Mayor-Elect Ted Wheeler for not arriving in town during the vote on the police contract.
“Everyone was there to get their testimony on the record,” the protester said. “And then the police just formed a line, and all of sudden, this happened.”