PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At least one arrest was made as authorities cleared out protesters from Chapman and Lownsdale Square parks early Thursday morning, following the 62nd consecutive night of demonstrations. Mayor Ted Wheeler said the move was at the request of Oregon State Police.
Just before 5:30 a.m., Portland police arrived at the parks donned in riot gear to announce both Chapman and Lownsdale Square parks were closed. The Portland Police Bureau ordered everyone inside the park and on the sidewalks to immediately leave to the north within 10 minutes — saying otherwise, people were subject to arrest, citations or crowd control agents.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted in the midst of the action, announcing Portland police will be working with Portland Parks & Recreation, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and other outreach workers to clear the parks at the request of Oregon State Police. He said this is “part of the plan for federal officers to leave our community.”
Officers stood around the parks, joining together to make a perimeter and eventually set up police tape. Some officers could be seen going through tents and looking through other people’s items. They said they would work with protesters to recover any items left behind.
Within 20 minutes of first announcing the closure of the park, PPB tweeted the parks had been safely cleared and thanked those who cooperated. No arrests were made during this initial clearing — but PPB later said at least one arrest was made in the area by 7 a.m.
A few dozen protesters remained on nearby sidewalks as police secured the area. Warnings were given to pedestrians to stay out of the street or else they would be subject to arrest, according to officers.
Later in the morning, PPB tweeted out several photos of items they found after sweeping the parks. Those items included a sledgehammer, leaf blowers, helmets, chest and leg armor, a fuel canister and other “improvised weapons.”
President Trump took to Twitter to respond to the situation in Portland once again Thursday morning. This time, his tweet was a direct attack against Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
“Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon, isn’t doing her job. She must clear out, and in some cases arrest, the Anarchists & Agitators in Portland,” Trump said. “If she can’t do it, the Federal Government will do it for her. We will not be leaving until there is safety!”
As of 7 a.m., this park clearing is notably less tense than the one police executed in mid-July.
This action by local authorities comes hours after federal officers deployed multiple volleys of tear gas and made arrests as several hundred people protested in downtown Portland for the 62nd consecutive night.
Earlier on Wednesday, state leaders announced federal agents would soon leave the streets of Portland.
Governor Kate Brown said early Wednesday morning that all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland. Federal officers will be replaced with Oregon State Police beginning Thursday, though acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said the agents will remain in the city “until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked…”
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