PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Police Chief Jami Resch spoke with media around 2 a.m. Monday morning following the city’s third consecutive night of demonstrations.
During the press conference, Chief Resch said the majority of protesters were peaceful, mentioning the marchers who came from the Laurelhurst Park area specifically.
Watch the full conference at the bottom of this article
“It’s been a very long and difficult and emotional several days in Portland and across the country and we understand why,” said Resch in her opening remarks. “Yesterday’s events started peacefully and there was a very organic moment with some of our sergeants and some demonstrators who took a knee together next to the Justice Center.”
“I’m very proud of this moment as it reflects community and understanding.”
Between the two large groups of demonstrators—one near Laurelhurst Park and the other downtown, which eventually merged into one—Resch said they estimated there was roughly 6,000 people involved in Sunday’s largely peaceful protests.
“Unfortunately, there were others who were intent on violence and destruction directed towards police and targeted buildings including the Federal Courthouse, the Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Justice Center, and the Multnomah County Courthouse,” said Resch.
In terms of the acts of vandalism that police pursued, Resch singled those people out separate from the majority of protesters. Sunday night’s crowd was much larger than the past two nights of demonstrations, and she attributed the large crowd as what gave some individuals the opportunity to commit crime.
Police made some arrests over the course of the demonstration. While Resch said the final reports on those arrests were still being finalized, she characterized them as criminal mischief and one instance of an attempted assault on an officer.
Earlier in the evening, Portland Police liaisons met with community organizers to discuss the evening’s protest after crowds requested a meeting with law enforcement representatives.
“I heard the leaders say that they want the police to meet with the community leaders and they do not feel that they are represented by the community leaders PPB meets with regularly,” said Resch. “We agreed that the majority of protesters and the police wanted a peaceful protest, and we are frustrated by those who are engaging in violence and destruction because it is not helpful at all in changing our efforts.”
Resch said during that meeting, they discussed new ways leaders could engage with them, and vice versa.
“I was very appreciative that they were able to take the time—that they were trusting enough to come into the precinct to meet with me,” said Resch. “They had some very good ideas on how police could engage with the community in ways that we haven’t before. It was a very good conversation, but it was cut a bit short by the actions of people who threw incendiary devices at officers.”
The chief said they concluded that meeting with the intention to meet again.
Full press conference
This is a developing story. KOIN 6 News will update with more information throughout the day.
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