Portland Police Jump On Protester Shield Line and Start Swinging Batons

Portland Police officers were seen charging into a line of protesters carrying shields and swinging their batons as demonstrations against police brutality in the city continued for the 80th night.

Police deployed tear gas at protesters shortly after midnight on Sunday, according to videos posted on Twitter by Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Sergio Olmos.

"Stand your ground," a person is heard saying in one clip as numerous tear gas canisters are seen being fired while protesters use umbrellas and shields to protect themselves.

In a video posted a few minutes later, a number of officers in riot gear were seen running and jumping at the protesters' shields.

"Police jump into protestor shields, then start swinging," Olmos wrote alongside that clip.

In another tweet accompanying a video, Olmos added: "Police clear disperse the shield line, making an arrest, protestor tells officer "f**k you fascist" officer taunts by saying "come here"."

Police declared the gathering outside the Penumbra Kelly Building, which is shared by police and Multnomah County deputies, a riot at 11:57 p.m., according to The Oregonian.

The newspaper reported that for much of the night, the protest stayed peaceful with demonstrators chanting at police: "Quit your jobs!"

At around 11:30 p.m., some people walked onto the property and one used a baton to hit the building, according to the newspaper. Police called on them to stop, and mentioned a person who they said was throwing rocks.

On Twitter, Portland Police had earlier warned protesters to stay away from the property and not engage in violence or criminal activity or be subject to "use of fore, crowd control munitions, pepper spray or tear gas."

In a later tweet, they said: "People are continually throwing softball size rocks, glass bottles and other objects at police. People have spray painted over security cameras and committed other acts of vandalism. People are trespassing on the property."

Protests against police brutality have taken place in Portland for more than two months since the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody in May.

Saturday's demonstrations started with a counter-protest in support of police organized by an alt-right group in front of the Multnomah Country Justice Center in downtown Portland.

About 30 people took part in the Patriot Prayer rally, several of them armed with automatic weapons, and clashed with Black Lives Matter counter-protesters in the streets, KOIN-TV reported.

Photojournalist Robby Sherman reported hearing at least two gunshots from a garage that some counter-protesters had blocked where several Patriot Prayer members had parked.

On Twitter, Sherman posted a picture of a shell cashing of a gun that had repeatedly been fired and wrote that Portland police had not responded to the scene more than 20 minutes after the shots were heard. No injuries were reported.

Portland Police initially said they were unaware of any reports of gunfire, but a spokesman later confirmed that police were looking into the incident. "Portland Police are aware of the allegation that shots were fired and will investigate," Lt. Greg Pashley told The Oregonian.

Some on Twitter compared the police response to the two groups of protesters.

"Over the past two months police have assaulted and tear gassed thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters," Joshua Potash tweeted. "Today white supremacists rallied and then violently attacked people in Portland, Kalamazoo, and Stone Mountain, and police didn't touch a single one."

The use of force by Portland police in recent days has also attracted criticism from Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.

"This brutality is unacceptable. This is the community the police are sworn to protect and serve," she wrote on Twitter Friday night. "They must uphold Portlanders constitution rights."

Portland
Portland police officers walk through clouds of smoke during a crowd dispersal on Mississippi Avenue on August 14, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Nathan Howard/Getty Images