Portland protests post-Derek Chauvin guilty verdict result in 2 arrests, bike officer punched in head

on Apr21
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Portland was rocked by violent demonstrations Tuesday – even after a Minnesota jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd.

At least two people were arrested and video first published by The Oregonian and retweeted by police showed a demonstrator dressed in all black punching a bicycle officer in the head before more officers piled on top of the suspect. Police also released photos showing shattered windows at local coffee shops and graffiti of the anarchy symbol and ACAB, an acronym meaning “All Cops Are B*******.” 

Randy Gray, 36, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center and charged with assaulting a public safety officer, assault in the fourth degree, harassment, disorderly conduct in the second degree and criminal mischief in the third degree.

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Videos of the arrest that happened at about 10:07 p.m. “have been posted to social media by various bystanders, including some that did not provide the entire context of the incident,” Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Kevin Allen said in the latest video update. The Portland Police Bureau said it shared the “most complete we could find” on its Twitter page.

The video showed a Portland Police sergeant walking his bike when a person dressed in all black stepped in his path, Allen said. The sergeant moved the person aside, when another person punched the sergeant in the head. 

A scuffle began and the sergeant was knocked to the ground. The sergeant landed in a “dangerous position,” underneath the suspect and on his back, the bureau also said in a statement. That’s when other officers moved in to stop the assault and some focused blows were used “in response to the violent conduct,” police said. Pepper spray was also deployed by an officer, and officers rendered aid to help alleviate the effects of the pepper spray after the suspect was handcuffed, police said.

Portland, Oregon, has seen repeated violent demonstrations since Floyd’s death, and Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency Tuesday and put state police and the National Guard on standby.

About 100 people gathered outside the Justice Center and blocked vehicular traffic by 8:15 p.m. local time Tuesday, according to the Portland Police Bureau. The doors of the Justice Center were locked to prevent unlawful entry into the building out of an abundance of caution, police said. A dumpster fire was set and later extinguished by a community member.

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Kenneth Harold, 24, was also taken into custody around 10:05 p.m. after allegedly breaking and spray painting the windows of a local coffee shop. He was in possession of a glass punch tool and cans of spray paint, police said. Harold was later booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center and charged with one count of criminal mischief in the first degree.

Demonstrators have also set fires, broken windows and vandalized buildings, including a church, a Boys & Girls Club and a historical society in recent days over the deaths of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and Adam Toledo in Chicago, as well as a fatal police shooting in Portland last week.

In a statement released earlier Tuesday afternoon after the Chauvin verdict was announced, acting Portland Police Chief Chris Davis recognized “there are a range of emotions across the nation and our community” – but affirmed continual acts of violence and destruction are “not advancing any racial justice.”

Davis said he agrees with Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo that “Derek Chauvin’s actions were beyond the bounds of the law and what we expect of police officers in the performance of their duties.”

“The encounter with George Floyd that resulted in his death spurred a critical mass across the country demanding police reform and accountability,” Davis said. “All community members should be treated with fairness, equity, dignity and professionalism no matter their race.”

“Many community members will want to make their voices heard and might march and demonstrate, and we encourage and support the lawful exercise of First Amendment rights,” Davis said. “Those who think it is acceptable to put others’ lives and livelihoods at risk through dangerous acts of violence and destruction are not furthering the cause for system change, but setting our entire community back by tearing it apart. This is not advancing any racial justice.”

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Police used a loudspeaker to direct crowds to leave as the situation devolved into an unlawful assembly. Demonstrators began winding down by 11 p.m. local time Tuesday, and officers in multiple capacities began patrolling the downtown area to deter additional criminal activity, the bureau said.

“One thing to note, the area affected by the criminal activity was contained within few blocks of downtown Portland,” the bureau added. “This is not to minimize the impact to those who were victimized by the property damage, as we take any damage seriously. But the overall geographical area that was impacted was relatively small.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





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