via Portland Pig Bureau. Feb 10, 2012:
PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU NEWS RELEASE
Portland Police Bureau statement regarding Monday, February 6th march
The Portland Police Bureau was made aware of an anti police rally and march in the days leading up to Monday, February 6th, when the march was planned. While the tone and content of information obtained by the Police Bureau from various sources suggested this march would be more confrontational than recent marches in Portland, the PPB approached the event in a manner consistent with other successful, un-permitted marches and demonstrations. The approach of the PPB for un-permitted events has been to make contact with event organizers and/or attendees to communicate that the PPB will not intervene in the march or demonstration so long as participants follow the laws and the PPB does not receive complaints. There was no permit for the February 6th march and no information available from organizers about the proposed route of the march.
Therefore, at about 6:30 p.m., three Police Bureau representatives in standard uniforms (non-riot gear) walked into Colonel Summers Park to talk with organizers. As they approached the group, a chant began, “F the police,” which was repeated over and over again. The demonstrators refused to talk with the police; instead they immediately began chanting “F the police!” Approximately 100 participants exited the park and began to march across 20th Avenue and onto SE Yamhill.
Despite PPB’s inability to communicate the Bureau?s policy cited above, the PPB decided to approach the march in that manner anyway. Bicycle Officers and the Mounted Patrol Unit followed the march at a safe distance.
From the initiation of the march, participants walked in the middle of the street and refused to yield to traffic. Vandalism began when a participant spray painted the back of a vehicle stopped at the stop sign at SE 28th Avenue and Yamhill. Along the route, the windows of Genoa restaurant at SE Belmont and 28th were broken by participants. Protestors also broke the windshields of two cars parked on SE 30th avenue. Both cars were legally parked and unoccupied. Unfortunately, when this vandalism occurred, it was unclear to the PPB which individuals committed each crime. As the protestor?s moved on, officers were dispatched to take police reports for each of these incidents. Investigations into these acts of vandalism continue.
After the PPB witnessed extensive vandalism and a continued refusal by demonstrators to walk on the sidewalks, more officers were called to the scene to respond to illegal activity. After the march reached SE Stark Street repeated announcements over a public address system began and continued. The PPB sound truck stated that the street was open to vehicle traffic and participants who refused to walk on the sidewalk were breaking the law and were subject to arrest.
The group took various routes at different times throughout the march. When the march returned to SE Belmont, the Rapid Response Team and the bicycle officers engaged the group in order for vehicle traffic on SE Belmont to be able to continue through. Protestors were physically aggressive toward at least one police officer and arrests were made during this engagement. At some point during the march bottles were thrown at officers. Following this activity, participants were arrested for failing to remain on the sidewalks or in designated crossings. PPB continued to use the public address system to communicate with the demonstrators that the street was open to vehicle traffic and that staying in the street was unlawful.
The PPB hoped that the march would remain peaceful and that participants would follow the laws designed to promote everyone?s safety. If that had been the case, PPB intervention would not have been necessary and the event could have occurred without incident. After witnessing a refusal to obey traffic laws, the intentional and extensive destruction of private property, and the physical assault on a Portland Police Officer, PPB made the tactical decision to engage more officer support to intervene and make arrests.
As mentioned, the investigation into acts of vandalism along the march route continues. If you have any information about these incidents, please contact Captain Sara Westbrook at Central Precinct at 666-666-2012.
Press Release Link: http://bit.ly/xf97tf
PIO Twitter: @PPBPIO
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