Night 99: Unlawful assembly at police union, 27 arrests

Protests

The Portland Police Association has been a frequent site of protests

Roughly 200 people gathered on N Lombard Street outside the Portland Police Association on the 99th night of protests in the city. September 4, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore (KOIN) — Another unlawful assembly was declared and 27 people were arrested on the 99th consecutive night of protests, this time at the Portland Police Association offices on North Lombard street.

A “direct action march” calling for “no cops, no prisons, total abolition” started at Kenton Park in North Portland Friday evening, hosted by the PNW Youth Liberation Front. Like many nights before, people gathered at the park and then decided on a destination for the march. Organizers once again encouraged participants to “wear black, stay together, be water.”

As they have in the past, protesters marched to the Portland Police Association just a few blocks away on North Lombard Street. By the time they reached the building, the number of demonstrators had grown.

Law enforcement officers were already standing outside the police union building at 10 p.m. Via Twitter, the Portland Police Bureau warned people to stay out of the street and to not block traffic. “Failure to comply with this order may subject you to citation or arrest, and may subject you to the use of tear gas, crowd control agents and or impact munitions.”

Later, officials confirmed they did use crowd control munitions but not CS gas.

Authorities said those in the crowd began chanting “Burn it down.” The police union office, the target of previous arsons, was ringed by officers to prevent protesters from ready access.

For about 90 minutes, officers did not engage but when items — a rock, a full beverage can, water bottles — were thrown, authorities declared it an unlawful assembly.

This gun was found inside a car during Night 99 of protests in Portland. The driver was arrested and the car was towed, September 5, 2020 (PPB)

Almost no one left, officials said, and that’s when the arrests began. One of those arrested was the driver of a vehicle “supporting the assembly.” That person is likely 34-year-old Demetrius Batchelor of Portland, taken into custody on an outstanding warrant and for being a felon in possession of a gun.

Most of the other 26 people arrested are from the Portland metro area. However, 3 people are from out of state: Micky Perry, 33, of West Virginia, Matthew Sohan, 33, of Yakima, Washington and Joshua Sooter, 33, of Missouri. Another person, Tyler Junion, 36, is listed as having an unknown residence.

Most are charged with interfering with a peace officer and disorderly conduct.

The Oregon State Police helped PPB during this event.

Demonstrations in recent days have been noticeably quieter. But the situation could see a dramatic shift Friday night in the wake of two deaths tied to Portland protests.

A man suspected of fatally shooting a supporter of the right-wing Patriot Prayer group last weekend was killed Thursday as investigators moved in to arrest him, a senior Justice Department official told The Associated Press.

The man, Michael Reinoehl, 48, was killed as a federal task force attempted to apprehend him in Lacey, Washington, the official said. Reinoehl was the prime suspect in the killing of 39-year-old Aaron “Jay” Danielson, who was shot in the chest Saturday night, the official said.

The US Marshals Service told KOIN 6 News, “The fugitive task force located Reinoehl in Olympia and attempted to peacefully arrest him. Initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers. Task force members responded to the threat and struck the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Reinoehl’s was killed the same day Vice News planned to air an interview during which Reinoehl’s appeared to admit to the shooting, saying, “I had no choice. I mean, I, I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn’t going to do that.”

Reinoehl had described himself in a social media post as “100% ANTIFA,” suggested the tactics of counter-protesters amounted to “warfare,” and had been shot at one protest and cited for having a gun at another.

He had been been a regular presence at anti-racism demonstrations in Portland.

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