Federal police strike protester with baton, use pepper spray and tear gas outside courthouse in Portland pic.twitter.com/VX2xTVaaYq
— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) July 19, 2020
Black Lives Matter protests this year resulted in all sorts of brutal and disturbing events, but probably few things as surreal as what happened Saturday in Portland, Oregon. As seen on video, a quite tall-looking protester in a Navy sweater simply stood as a federal officer repeatedly struck him with a baton. He only moved back when another official aimed pepper-spray at his face. Even then, he flipped the bird with both hands at the authorities.
— doug brown (@dougbrown8) July 19, 2020
A “local veteran” said he was the man in the video, and said that cops broke his knuckle and two fingers, according to The Portland Tribune. The incident reportedly happened in downtown Portland by the Hatfield Federal Courthouse, the same location where another man was recently charged with hitting a federal officer with a hammer in a incident last weekend.
Saturday’s protests got ugly once again. Elsewhere, protesters broke into the Portland Police Association offices by North Lombard St. and North Campbell Avenue, and started a fire, police said according to KOIN. A riot was declared.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 19, 2020
Individuals began to break in the front doors of the PPA office while others blocked North Lombard Street with dumpsters which were soon lit on fire. Many in the crowd wore helmets and carried clubs and shields.
At about 10:45 p.m., people broke into the PPA office and within a few moments ignited a fire inside. As Portland Police arrived, many began to flee to the east. Portland Police declared a riot due to the violent conduct of the large group creating a grave risk of public alarm. Police issued public address announcements and moved the crowd east. As the crowd was dispersed, several people in the crowd were arrested and officers were able to extinguish the fire. Portland Police did not use any CS gas.
But tensions aren’t just between law enforcement and protesters. A major factor of the Portland protests is that federal agents under the Department of Homeland Security have been out in force. Badge-less, camouflaged officials have been seen apprehending people off the street. Critics say federal officials are engaging in “kidnappings.”
These federal officers (?) just rushed up and arrested someone for no reason pic.twitter.com/xcFVuoMZmN
— Matcha chai (@matcha_chai) July 15, 2020
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sued DHS and other agencies on Friday .
“On information and belief, unidentified federal officers including John Does 1-10 have likewise detained other citizens off the Portland streets, without warning or explanation, without a warrant, and without providing any way to determine who is directing this action,” stated the lawsuit. “There is noway of knowing, in the absence of those officers identifying themselves, whether only U.S.Customs and Border Protection is engaging in these actions. The Marshals Service and other Homeland Security agencies reportedly have been sent to Portland to respond to the protests against racial inequality.”
[Screengrab via Zane Sparling / @PDXzane]
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