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Portland Police Surround 100 Protesters After Violence Breaks Out

Portland Police Surround 100 Protesters After Violence Breaks Out
Armed Federal Protective Service officers respond to a trash fire at the Courthouse. About a hundred black-bloc protesters demonstrated outside the Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon on March 11, 2021, after authorities removed boards and plywood from courthouse windows. (John Rudoff/Sipa via AP)

By    |   Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:45 PM

Approximately 100 protesters were detained Friday night in Portland, Oregon, after demonstrations focused largely on the presence of Department of Homeland Security officers at the downtown federal courthouse grew violent. 

According to a report posted by the Portland Police Department on Saturday, protesters started marching at about 9 p.m. Some started smashing windows after about 15 minutes. 

The police formed a perimeter around the group, which was advised they were not free to leave and should comply with orders, but legal observers, members of the press, or anyone medically fragile was invited to leave if they wished, the report said. 

The detainment was an example of kettling, a tactic used by police to surround a crowd and contain people inside a perimeter, reports The Oregonian.  

"Those that were being detained were identified and photographed, as part of a criminal investigation, before being released," the police department's report said. "Some refused to comply and locked arms together in an effort to interfere with the investigation. Officers escorted them away and they were arrested. A suspect in the earlier window vandalism was arrested and charged."

Thirteen of those detained were charged with criminal offenses, the police report said, including two who were carrying firearms while wearing body armor and helmets. 

Live-streamers and independent journalists said that before police released them, they were made to give their name and birthdate, which was written on a piece of duct tape and given to them to place on their chests. They were then photographed before leaving, requiring them to remove their face masks, reports The Oregonian. 

Meanwhile, officers found several items that were left behind inside the perimeter, "Including a crowbar, hammers, bear spray, slugging weapon with rocks, high impact slingshots, and knives," the report said. 

Violent protests have eased since last summer's marches sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said this week he will ask city council for a one-time fund of $2 million for police patrols to allow for more proactive patrols in the city's streets in hopes of stemming growing gun violence, also reports The Oregonian.

He made his announcement along with religious and community leaders in hopes of further action being taken to prevent people from dying in shootings, especially young Black and brown people. 

The group called for bringing back a dedicated uniformed police patrol team and to add more detectives to investigate gun violence and more money for the new six-officer on-call team that was recently formed to respond to shootings around the clock in the city. It also wants a new independent community committee that would gather information on officers' stops and arrests. 

Wheeler said the new police approach would differ from the former police Gun Violence Reduction Team that was disbanded in June amid $15 million in budget cuts. He also said he plans to bring the proposal before City Council members within a few weeks and that the money would come from a city reserve contingency account created last fall that now has a $6.3 million balance.

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Approximately 100 protesters were detained Friday night in Portland, Oregon, after demonstrations focused largely on the presence of Department of Homeland Security officers at the downtown federal courthouse grew violent.
police, portland, protesters, arrests
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2021-45-13
Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:45 PM
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