UPDATE: Portland Police Release Video of Demonstrators Confronting Officers in Northeast Portland


November 05, 2012 11:10

  

Attachment: VIEW FILES

Here is another video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yALGL_grJRM&feature=youtu.be in the event that the first one isn't working.

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###ORIGINAL MESSAGE BELOW###

Today, Monday, November 5, 2012, the Portland Police Bureau is releasing some video from Saturday's demonstration march in Northeast Portland. During this march, there was one arrest and several ramming device/shields seized by officers. Officers used pepper spray during a violent struggle with demonstrators, who were ramming police officers on bicycles.

Video of this confrontation with police is available for viewing and download at: http://youtu.be/yALGL_grJRM

The video is both Portland Police video and video obtained online.

In the weeks leading up to this event, the Police Bureau attempted to contact event organizers to discuss the intent of the march and to ensure that the event would be peaceful. No organizers or responsible parties responded to these requests.

It should be clear that "free speech events" do not require a permit; but, marches or demonstrations occurring in public streets that restrict movement of other community members do require a permit issued by the City of Portland.

Permits for events such as this are easily obtained from the City of Portland by clicking this link: http://www.portlandonline.com/omf/index.cfm?a=69109&c=58363

In past events of an unpermitted nature, demonstrators have been found to have stockpiled fireworks, metal poles and built shields to directly resist the police and at times take direct action against law enforcement as well as inflict damage to community businesses.

On Saturday, prior to the march, Portland Police officers contacted individuals associated with the march in Holladay Park. Police offered to issue a permit and asked for route information. Both requests by police were denied by event organizers. One ramming device/shield was seized at Holladay Park as part of the ongoing investigation into the ramming of police officers and Multnomah County Sheriff's Office deputies in Southeast Portland earlier in the week.

The march departed Holladay Park and immediately went into the street westbound on Northeast Multnomah Street. The Portland Police Bureau exercised discretion and allowed the marchers to take the street.

The march continued northbound on 9th Avenue then turned eastbound on Halsey Street, with police officers facilitating the movement of the march.

As the march moved eastbound on Halsey, demonstrators brought out additional ramming devices/shields and moved them to the front of the march.

When the march reached Northeast 14th Avenue, the marchers turned northbound in a coordinated movement to directly confront a line of police officers. The officers were there to restrict a northbound turn on 14th as police did not want the demonstration march to get to Northeast Weidler and/or Broadway, which had much more vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The demonstrators had a clear path to march eastbound on Halsey Street.

The demonstrators were seen putting on masks and/or goggles and multiple rows of people began using the shields to ram at the line of bicycle officers. It was during this ramming, that pepper spray was deployed by officers, targeted directly at the people in the front of the line that were ramming the police officers.

Multiple officers were knocked off their bikes as the ramming continued. Officers were able to pull the ramming devices away from the demonstrators and drag them away.

These ramming device/shields are specifically built and designed to be used to take direct offensive action against police. There are multiple handles installed on the back, that allow for multiple people to hold and control the device.

One man, 44-year-old Johnny Christopher Wells, ran behind the line and grabbed a police bicycle and started to run away northbound. Officers caught up to him within a few feet and the man swung the bike at officers. The officers were able to grab the man and the bike and take him into custody.

Wells was charged with Robbery in the Third Degree, Attempted Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Attempted Theft in the Second Degree, Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree, Interfering with a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, and Theft in the Second Degree.

After the ramming devices were seized, the demonstrators backed up and walked eastbound on Halsey Street. The demonstrators continued to march around the Lloyd Center and the march ended at Holladay Park. There were no additional confrontations with police.

As in all police uses-of-force, the incident will be thoroughly reviewed and investigated to ensure that Portland Police Bureau policies and procedures were followed.

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Attachment: VIEW FILES

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Media Relations:
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Peter.Simpson@portlandoregon.gov
Desk: 503-823-0830
Pager: 503-790-1779


Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204