PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At the exact same time as celebratory fireworks burst above the downtown Portland sky on the 4th of July, about 100 people marched through downtown streets smashing windows, spray-painting graffiti and firing small mortars at the federal courthouse.
Officials with PPB told KOIN 6 News the bureau “has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assume control of specific investigations, allowing their resources to be used to identify and arrest those suspects.”
Tuesday, City Commissioner Mingus Mapps told KOIN 6 News none of what the marchers did “is legitimate political speech.”
In a statement, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said, “I am a passionate supporter of direct action but blindly destroying property and menacing community members changes nothing and helps no one.”
She also said these events not only damage small businesses, “they frighten local residents, including our most vulnerable community members, and oftentimes hurt large well-organized protest movements fighting for meaningful societal change.”
Windows at the Bank of America at SW 5th and Salmon, the T-Mobile building near Pioneer Courthouse Square, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Gucci store were among those smashed.
KOIN 6 News learned a security guard at a downtown hotel was attacked and someone got pepper sprayed.
“One of my jobs on City Council is to defend people’s First Amendment rights,” Mapps said. “On the other hand, smashing windows, setting buildings on fire, punching security guards — none of this is legitimate political speech.”
Mapps said he spoke with Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt, leaders at the Portland Police Bureau and local judges about holding these vandals accountable.
Schmidt’s office told KOIN 6 News that if arrests are made, they “will review the facts and evidence and make a criminal charging decision accordingly.”
At this point one person was arrested. Michael Andrew Kenzler, 25, was booked for criminal mischief, interfering with a public safety officer and escape.
PPB is also asking for anyone with surveillance video or photos to contact them by email regarding Case Number 22-178758: email@example.com
Mapps vowed to hold the people who were destructive accountable.
“We’ve made clear direction to the police bureau,” Mapps said, “that violence and vandalism needs to be met with a response — and that response is an arrest.”