New riot charge for protester accused of hitting officer with shield

2020 Protests

Federal authorities also pursuing charges against demonstrator accused of punching an officer in the face

Commercial-grade firework set off in downtown Portland. July 4, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced new charges Wednesday against a protester accused of throwing a shield, which then hit an officer, during a July 4th protest-turned-riot.

Hundreds of people gathered in the streets around the Justice Center that night in downtown Portland. Police said some members of the crowd started throwing objects and launching fireworks at officers.

Authorities said Krystyna Mihalovna Solodenko, 31, threw a shield that hit an officer on the shoulder, then ran off and reached for a lit firework. The officer who had been struck by the shield grabbed Solodenko by her backpack and yanked her away from the firework, according to court documents.

Solodenko then fell to the ground and allegedly started kicking the officer in the legs. She was originally arrested on charges of interfering with an officer, disorderly conduct, and attempted assault on an officer. Now the DA’s office has added the charge of felony riot.

The announcement came a day after both the DA’s office and federal officials announced they would be prosecuting several people arrested at the nightly demonstrations. District Attorney Mike Schmidt has come under fire since his office announced it would presumptively decline to prosecute most charges connected to the protests.

Federal charge announced against separate protester

Also Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced it had charged a protester with civil disorder after she allegedly punched a PPB officer in the face during a riot that started late July 2nd.

Officials said Laurielle Yvette Aviles, 29, “forcibly intervened” and tried to stop an officer from arresting someone else. During the scuffle, Aviles allegedly punched the officer in the face. A second officer helped arrest her.

Court records show Aviles could still face local charges as well. Aviles was originally arrested on charges of riot, attempted assault on an officer, resisting arrest, interfering with a peace officer, disorderly conduct and assaulting a public safety officer. The latter two charges were dropped, but Aviles is set to be arraigned on the other charges in early November.

Civil disorder is a felony charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

People light fireworks in downtown Portland, July 2, 2020. (Courtesy of Mali Senpai)

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