PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — About 200 marched to the Penumbra Kelly Building in Southeast Portland on Tuesday night and peacefully chanted during a demonstration against police, systemic racism and other causes, hours after the Multnomah County district attorney announced his office would not prosecute certain charges stemming from the ongoing protests.
Alternating between chants of “Black Lives Matter,” “Say his name,” “Say her name” and others, protesters were peaceful outside of the Penumbra Kelly Building, which is shared by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Bureau, on East Burnside and Southeast 47th after marching there from Laurelhurst Park for a “Direct Action March.”
By the time the marchers neared the facility, Portland police issued a warning to demonstrators and members of the press against entering the property, and that those who do “are trespassing and subject to arrest, use of tear gas, crowd control agents, and or impact weapons.”
Authorities used bright lights on their vehicles to shine into the crowd as protesters recorded the demonstration.
The crowd shrank considerably by midnight and KOIN 6 News did not witness any physical clashes between demonstrators and police.
Earlier in the night, an ambulance was also called to the scene as the demonstration neared the police facility after a protester appeared to have fallen off the back of a pickup truck. The injured protester seemed to be responsive, KOIN 6 News observed.
Protesters also gathered downtown, according to the Portland Police Bureau, blocking traffic for several hours near Southwest 3rd and Main. Police said they did not interact with the crowd.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said Tuesday his office won’t prosecute cases where the most serious offense is a city ordinance violation or where the charges do not involve deliberate property damage, theft or the use or threat of force against another person. Such charges include interfering with a peace officer, second-degree disorderly conduct, third-degree escape, harassment and more.
There have been about 550 arrests so far stemming from the nightly protests that started on May 29, according to the DA’s office.
Nine people were arrested following Monday night’s demonstrations outside the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct. Most of those arrests included charges that would not be prosecuted under the DA’s new policy.
PPB declared an unlawful assembly around 11 p.m. Monday after some people in the crowd threw objects and shined lights at officers. Police and Oregon State Troopers worked together to make arrests and disperse crowds far from the precinct. Some people regrouped and returned to the North Precinct later in the night where there were several more clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators.