PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two people were arrested during another unlawful assembly in downtown Portland, where a large group of people marched through the streets and smashed windows of businesses, including different Starbucks locations.
People began gathering around 7 p.m. to “celebrate George’s life” and go “all out for Daunte Wright” outside the Justice Center in downtown Portland. Around 8:15 p.m., the crowd had grown to nearly 100 and cones were placed in the road to block traffic at SW 3rd and Main.
Initially, the demonstrators insisted no cameras would be allowed at the event. Shortly after the event started a demonstrator named Richy Qwavoo, a Black man, spoke out and said the event should be documented and people should be allowed to stream it.
“We’re trying to prove a point here. We’re trying to send a message. Why are we not filming?” he said.
He feels the demonstrations going on now are much different than the ones that started in late May 2020, after George Floyd’s murder. He said he thinks people have lost sight of the original movement.
Some members in the group tagged the Justice Center with graffiti. People were also seen starting a fire in the street in front of the Justice Center, but it was quickly put out.
At its peak, police estimated there were about 150 people who blocked roads in the area of the Hatfield Courthouse in the latest demonstration by anti-police protesters. After staying in one spot for a few hours, a group splintered off around 9:30 p.m. and began marching.
That group then began breaking windows and an unlawful assembly was declared just before 10 p.m. One person was seen breaking and spray painting the windows of a Starbucks near Southwest 4th Avenue and Morrison Street. That person, identified as 24-year-old Kenneth Harold, was arrested. He’s charged with felony riot, criminal mischief and unlawful possession of a graffiti implement.
KOIN 6 News saw windows smashed at the Starbucks a few blocks away at Southwest 2nd Avenue and Main Street, as well.
Just minutes after the first arrest, a brawl between officers and people ensued when a Portland police sergeant was walking his bike and a person stepped in his way.
Multiple videos from social media and local news outlets captured the officer moving this person aside. They appeared to exchange a few heated words — then the man moved on. However, longer videos on social media show another person come and punch the sergeant in the head and the sergeant falls to the ground on his back.
More officers intervened and threw punches — what police referred to as “focused blows” — while getting the man off of the sergeant. Police say they also used pepper spray.
Ultimately, 36-year-old Randy Gray was placed in handcuffs and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. He is charged with assaulting a public safety officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
He is facing charges of assaulting a public safety officer, assault, harassment, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.
By 11 p.m., the demonstrations began winding down.
PPB did note that the overall area affected by criminal activity was contained within few blocks. They said, “This is not to minimize the impact to those who were victimized by the property damage, as we take any damage seriously. But the overall geographical area that was impacted was relatively small.”
The PPB said they will continue to “plan for a police response to any violence or criminal activity that threatens the safety of community members or public employees or public or private property.”
The gathering comes a day after a group of about 80 marched through Northeast Portland and smashed windows of businesses and non-profits, including the Blazers Boys & Girls Club. Last week there were 3 riots in Portland from similar events.
Mayor Ted Wheeler held a press conference moments before the verdict was read on Tuesday, saying Oregon State Police have been made available to assist the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. He also declared a State of Emergency to open resources.
PPB said they were aware a gathering was expected Tuesday night and encouraged people to exercise their First Amendment rights lawfully.
But the organizers wanted those attending to wear black and not bring cameras.
“That is an indication that some individuals intend to commit crimes and do not want there to be photographic evidence,” PPB officials said. “A phrase on the flyer, ‘be water,’ suggests that they intend to move rapidly to help avoid law enforcement.”
Acting PPB Chief Chris Davis said, “Those who think it is acceptable to put others’ lives and livelihoods at risk through dangerous acts of violence and destruction are not furthering the cause for system change, but setting our entire community back by tearing it apart. This is not advancing any racial justice.”