Portland police say “small group” sparked violence at Tuesday’s protest

Jun 3 2020, 4:54 pm

Portland Police Bureau Chief Jami Resch took to social media Tuesday night to make a statement, as riot control agents were deployed in downtown Portland to disperse crowds protesting after the death of George Floyd.

The update from the police chief came at 9 pm (local time) Tuesday night, the first night since Saturday that Portland’s mayor decided not to institute a city-mandated curfew.

Resch thanked peaceful protesters that gathered at Pioneer Square and spoke to why certain dispersal tactics were used away from the area.

In the video message, Resch said that a group of “several hundred individuals” split off from the demonstration and that attempts were made to breach protections set up around the Justice Center in downtown Portland.

“Projectiles including bottles, bats, and mortars had been thrown at the police,” said Resch. “Warnings were given that force would be used if these actions continued. These actions continued, and riot control agents were deployed.

“I want to reiterate that if demonstrators are peaceful, and not engaged in criminal acts, they need to be mindful of the lawful orders being given, and disperse when directed,” Resch added.

“Officers will continue to defend themselves, others, and the critical infrastructures, and preserve life safety.”

Following Resch’s statement, the Portland Police Twitter account continued to update the evolving situation.

Sometime around midnight, the Portland Police made the decision to close Pioneer Square, issuing a warning that anyone remaining in the area may be subject to “arrest or use of force, including riot control agents and impact munitions.”

Chief Resch made another statement at around 2 am (local time) stating that “after several hours of dispersal orders, things have calmed down.” Resch also informed the public as to why the Portland Police had been tagging vehicles with spray paint.

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