PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A group of protesters broke into the Portland State University Police offices during a direct action march Monday night on the eve of the 2020 election, resulting in an unlawful assembly declaration and two arrests.
Shortly before 9 p.m., about 100 demonstrators had gathered at Director’s Park and from there, marched to the Portland State Campus Police Building while chanting Jason Washington—the name of a man who was shot and killed by campus police in 2018. People then broke into the building, entering the reception area through shattered windows.
The group continued to move west, breaking into the university’s Cramer Hall and Smith Memorial Student Union while leaving more smashed windows in their wake.
Protesters quickly moved on from the area, continuing to march west down Southwest Montgomery Street. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office says individuals broke more windows at a Starbucks in the ground floor of an apartment building on Montgomery Street, which people then entered.
Portland police were not far behind and minutes later declared an unlawful assembly under the unified command with Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said that an arson attempt was interrupted when they found some individuals had poured flammable liquid inside the Starbucks.
Afterward, officers worked to disperse the crowd and “performed high visibility patrols” for an hour. The crowd eventually dissipated.
The sheriff’s office reported two people were arrested by the end of the night, identified as 22-year-old Kaiave James Douvia and 25-year-old Connor Austin. Douvia faces charges for first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree burglary and second-degree disorderly conduct while Austin was charged for interfering with a peace officer.
A tire iron, dumbbell, body armor, gas masks and umbrella were among the miscellaneous items confiscated from the two arrestees.
PSU President Responds
Portland State University President Stephen Percy released a statement on Tuesday morning in response to the overnight destruction, in which he expressed his disappointment over the damage done not only to the property — but to the community, as well.
Read the full message below:
Dear Campus Community,
I’m disappointed and disheartened that we woke up this morning to news about individuals vandalizing the Portland State campus last night on the eve of a critical election for our country.
Over approximately 20 minutes, individuals damaged five buildings on campus — inflicting further damage to the Campus Public Safety office as well as vandalizing Cramer Hall, Smith Memorial Student Union, the Science Research and Training Center, and the Starbucks on the Park Blocks. Vandals broke windows and spray-painted graffiti. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s office has confirmed that two people were arrested as a result of the incident.
We will clean up from last night’s incident and move forward. While damage to property can be repaired, my larger concern is the damage done to our community. This kind of vandalism impedes our important work in educating students, conducting research and supporting student life. We deplore the impact of these actions on our community.
Our commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression is a hallmark of campus life. PSU will always defend free speech and the right to peaceful protest, but our students deserve a learning environment free of violence and vandalism. Close to 900 students live on our campus and hundreds more students, faculty and staff come to campus daily. We are committed to their safety and the health and well-being of our entire campus.
I urge everyone at PSU to exercise their right to vote — ballots can be returned in Oregon until 8 p.m. this evening — and to join me in looking ahead to a better future where all voices are heard and racial equity and justice prevail.
This is a developing story.