Document lists thousands of crowd control munitions in PPB’s inventory

Civic Affairs

Police use chemical irritants and crowd control munitions to disperse protesters during a demonstration on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Portland, Ore.
Hundreds of people gathered for rallies and marches against police violence and racial injustice Saturday night in Portland, Oregon, as often violent nightly demonstrations that have happened for 100 days since George Floyd was killed showed no signs of ceasing. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Police Bureau had more than 9,000 military-style crowd control munitions available in its inventory by the end of 2020, according to a City of Portland document.

The document, which was sent to members of City Council on Jan. 14 according to the letterhead, details the bureau’s “inventory of crowd control tools” at the end of 2020’s final quarter. The inventory document was released to KOIN 6 News through a public records request on Wednesday.

The list is at the behest of a City Council resolution passed in December requiring a quarterly inventory of such devices.

The inventory list includes the following:

  • 4,162 different types of chemical irritants/riot control agents, such as CS and OC grenades, impact munitions with irritants and launchable pyrotechnic riot control agents
  • 3,388 specialty less-lethal impact munitions (non-patrol), like projectiles and marking rounds
  • 787 distraction devices and area impact munitions, like rubber balls and non-bursting distraction devices
  • 704 smoke/obscurant devices

All of the crowd control tools documented in the inventory have a five-year shelf life with expiration dates ranging between 2021 and 2025, the document said.

“The purpose of these tools is to be deployed to prevent violence, injury or property damage and to avoid a greater application of force in accordance with Bureau of Police Directives 635.10 and 1010.00,” it went on to state.

The document includes links to the safety data sheets from the manufacturers, which include companies like Defense Technology, Combined Systems, FN America and United Tactical Systems.

Story continues below document

On March 16, a federal judge issued sanctions against Portland Police Bureau’s use of crowd control munitions during protests until certain criteria can be met, including more training for handlers of crowd control munitions and across the bureau.

On Dec. 1, 2020, a federal judge found the City of Portland in contempt of an order restricting the use of less-lethal munitions during protests associated with the demonstration on June 30. U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez concluded officers violated a temporary restraining order three times during the protest.

At the time, a temporary restraining order was in place, restricting officers’ ability to use tear gas and less-lethal munitions as a way to disperse crowds where there is little or no risk of injury.

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