PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Chaos erupted at Portland City Hall Wednesday morning as heckling and protests over homeless policy led to a physical attack.
A KOIN 6 News crew captured video of the meeting where it appears a man hit a security guard while being forcibly removed from the chambers. After escorting the man into the hallway, the security guard is seen holding his head and saying he “just hit his head”
“Get off me,” a man is heard saying in the video. “I’m not fighting back! You shoved me, you shoved me, you shoved me in the door!”
The man was part of a group of about half a dozen who arrived at city hall with signs indicating they want city leaders to end the moratorium on passing out of tents and tarps. The group initially protested quietly, but after about 15 minutes they started to shout at and heckle city leaders — disrupting speakers testifying.
The attack happened while Commissioner Rene Gonzalez was defending the decision to stop passing out tents and tarps due to the hundreds of homeless fires across the city.
Prior to the attack, at least two other protestors were escorted out without incident.
After a brief recess, Mayor Ted Wheeler addressed what happened.
” I’m very disappointed that the disruptions led to violence,” said Wheeler. “There’s no room for violence in this chamber. I don’t care if you disagree profoundly — violence is not acceptable, and I will ask again for this form of democracy to work, everyone has to abide by the rules.”
The rest of that meeting was held virtually.
KOIN reached out to the city and the Portland Police Bureau for more on the incident.