Events Anticipated Sunday in Downtown Park, Portland Police to Have Extra Staff Available

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Portland Police Badge

August 20, 2021 13:02


The Portland Police Bureau is aware that people are planning to come to downtown Portland to confront each other on Sunday, August 22, 2021 in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. We have seen similar events going back years. In the past, people have shown up with deadly and dangerous items, including firearms. We are aware these events cause significant community concern. They concern us as well.

While the City of Portland and Police Bureau is firmly and consistently supportive of people exercising their constitutional free speech and assembly rights, we know that violence and injuries are avoidable. People can express their views without physically confronting each other, no matter how passionately their views are held.

"This is our main message: if you are planning to come down to instigate fights with those you disagree with, don't come," said Chief Chuck Lovell. "You should not expect to see police officers standing in the middle of the crowd trying to keep people apart. People should keep themselves apart and avoid physical confrontation."

If people do engage in violent activity or property destruction, they are risking arrest and prosecution. The Portland Police Bureau is prepared to monitor this event and may make arrests for crimes when resources allow. That does not always happen in the moment. In past such events, we have consistently conducted follow-up investigations, made arrests, and forwarded cases to the Multnomah County District Attorney for prosecution. Just because arrests are not made at the scene, when tensions are high, does not mean that people are not being charged with crimes later.

To prepare for this potential incident, Chief Lovell has canceled days off for most sworn personnel and available PPB personnel will be working. PPB will not be discussing tactical planning specifics prior to the weekend. Our goal is to be able to respond to life safety events while still providing response to emergency calls for service citywide. Depending on the scope of the events Sunday, there may be a need to divert more resources downtown. If that happens, it may delay police response citywide, especially for any call that is not a life safety emergency. PPB appreciates patience and ask that non-emergency matters be reported on its website or on a later date.

Drivers and other park users should prepare for the possibility that there could be impacts to traffic flow and use of the park.

Portland Police Demonstration Liaison Officers (DLOs) are actively trying to contact the various event organizers. If any event organizers or participants are interested in communicating with PPB, please reach out via e-mail to or via Twitter @ppbliaison (

For more information, please see the Protest / Demonstration / Special Events Resources and Links page: .

The Portland Police Bureau will be sharing public safety information with the public via Twitter. General information will be on its main Twitter page: @portlandpolice ( However, PPB may provide safety information and direction to participants and bystanders via loudspeaker. Those instructions will also be distributed via its new Twitter handle @PPBAlerts ( Anyone interested in receiving these messages should follow @PPBAlerts.

The City of Portland operates in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, ORS Chapter 659 A, Portland City Code Title 23, and other related statutes and regulations, such that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any City program, service or activity on the basis of race, color, national origin, English proficiency, disability, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or familial status, or source of income. To help ensure access to City programs, services, and activities, the City of Portland reasonably: provides language translation and interpretation for limited English proficiency individuals; modifies policies and procedures; and, provides auxiliary aids, services and/or alternative formats to persons with disabilities. More information, and instructions on making an accommodation request, can be found here:

While PPB tries to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities attending demonstrations and other events, PPB has no control over the way a crowd acts. When police disperse people within a crowd due to criminal and/or riotous activity, police tools and tactics could cause challenges for people with disabilities.



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