Feds use tear gas against downtown Portland protesters


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Federal authorities again used tear gas and other crowd control munitions against protesters gathered outside of the federal courthouse in Portland on Saturday night.

Portland Police Bureau confirmed that federal authorities used CS gas twice and made arrests as people gathered outside of the federal courthouse near the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland, which has seen nightly demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter for six consecutive weeks.

The climax of Saturday night’s confrontation stuck around 2 a.m. (Sunday) when PPB said officers responded to a call for help from federal officers overwhelmed by crowd members “resisting arrest” and “throwing bottles” at them near SW Main Street and SW 3rd Avenue. As this was going on, police made announcements for people to leave the area.

PPB said officers monitored the crowd for an additional hour as they witnessed trash cans and dumpster being lit on fire. No structures were threatened during the altercation, police confirmed.

At least one arrest was made Saturday pertaining to a laser pointing incident. Tristen McColley, 19, was apprehended just before 10:30 p.m. for shining the laser directly at an officer.

Saturday night’s activities came after several other peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations took place across the city.

Saturday night’s protests also come one day after a couple of arrests were made outside the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in which federal law enforcement eventually used tear gas around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Portland Police Bureau stated that a federal officer had been struck in the head and shoulder with a hammer during an altercation.

Tear gas was again used on demonstrators downtown Saturday night, starting shortly after 9 p.m. Portland police confirmed that federal officers deployed the CS tear gas and made several arrests. This action didn’t disperse protesters, however, and hundreds of people continued to occupy the street and parks across from the federal courthouse and adjacent Justice Center.

One man was taken from the downtown demonstration by an ambulance after suffering a head injury from what witnesses reported was a crowd control munition. One woman said there was a laceration on his head, but he was also bleeding from his mouth, nose, and ears. His medical condition is unknown.

Timeline of Events

12 a.m.

Hundreds of people remain outside the federal courthouse, next to the Justice Center.

Around 12:30 a.m. protesters started to run after tear gas was deployed outside the federal courthouse.

Shortly before 1 a.m. Portland police again tweeted about federal officers’ use of force:

“PPB is aware Federal Officers are currently engaging a crowd in the area of SW 3rd Ave between SW Salmon St/SW Main St. Federal Officers also deployed CS. PPB is asking the community to avoid the area for safety.”

11 p.m.

During the 11 o’clock hour, authorities used what appeared to be the Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, which is a device that emits a loud sonic tone for crowd control. Protesters responded with their own chants and shouts and the crowd did not appear to disperse.

10 p.m.

An estimated 200 people are outside the US District Courthouse and Lownsdale Square.

Around 10:30 p.m. there was blood splattered on the street and sidewalk across from the US District Courthouse. A witness said the blood was from a man who suffered a head injury.

In an interview with a woman who helped treat the injured man before an ambulance arrived, she said he had been hit on the left side of his head, however, she did not see what caused the injury.

“It caused a pretty deep laceration, but he was bleeding from his nose, his mouth, his ears—it was pretty bad,” Jessica Shifflett.

A friend of the injured protester, who identified themselves as Princess, said they saw their friend hit in the head with a rubber bullet. Princess said their friend did retain consciousness up until the ambulance took him away. His condition is unknown.

9 p.m.

During the 9 o’clock hour, federal officers used CS tear gas on demonstrators outside the federal courthouse and made several arrests, Portland police reported. The tear gas was detectable from roughly a block away.

KOIN 6 News was granted permission by Twitter user @destrozaICE to share the following video which shows federal law enforcement detaining a man as he has what appears to be a medical episode. Warning: video contains explicit language.

8 p.m.

By 8:30 p.m., there were about 60-70 people total in the immediate vicinity of the Justice Center.

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