10 arrested during protest at City Hall; another protest planned for Friday

10 arrested, several injured in protest

PORTLAND, Ore. – Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with Portland police officers for about four hours Wednesday after the city council approved a new police union contract.

Police arrested 10 protesters and used pepper spray on others after some threw projectiles at the officers, according to Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson.

At 5 p.m., protest organizers addressed the crowd, explaining that safety is a priority and that the protest was over. They said massive action is planned for Friday, including a plan to start recalling city commissioners who approved the police union contract, beginning with Amanda Fritz, who posted a statement Wednesday night about why she approved the contract.

At around 1 p.m., police officers, dressed in riot gear, cleared out and locked City Hall, and blocked all entrances. Simpson said the protesters were asked to leave and were informed of the closure.

"As with all uses of force by police, officers will write reports documenting the reasons for any use of force. Those reports are subject to an administrative review to determine if the force was within policy," Simpson said in a news release. 

Watch video of police clearing City Hall (courtesy of The Oregonian)

Police encouraged anyone who witnessed misconduct to file a report here.

"We don't discourage free speech," Simpson said. "These are not people that are unfamiliar with the rules."

Gregory McKelvey, a spokesman for Don't Shoot Portland, said he encouraged all protesters to comply with police orders.

During the protest, dozens of officers lined up outside City Hall and ordered protesters to clear the street to allow a MAX train to leave the street. Several people were detained, and others who moved toward police were pepper sprayed.

One officer was injured by a protester, Simpson said. The injuries were not serious.

The following protesters were arrested:

  1. Jonny Samuel Perez, 23: Faces charges of assaulting a police officer, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with an emergency response.
  2. Robert Lee West, 51: Faces charges of coercion, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.
  3. Sarabeth Rachel Long, 38: Faces charges of coercion, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.
  4. David Kif Davis, 44: Cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.
  5. Hallie D. Bernhoft, 20: Cited for disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing.
  6. Carlton Smith, 43: Cited for disorderly conduct.
  7. Henrick De-Savy, 21: Cited for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.
  8. James Mattox, 27: Cited for disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer.
  9. Frank A. Martinez Jr., 24: Cited for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.
  10. Benjamin J. Kerensa, 32: Cited for theft.

The protest caused delays to multiple mass transit lines.

"When you block a MAX line, it has a massive ripple effect to the entire system," Simpson said.

Don't Shoot Portland said it believes the police union contract doesn’t do enough to address police accountability and that the contract was "fast tracked in an unethical manner."

The new contract was approved with a 3-1 vote behind closed doors Wednesday morning after the meeting was moved to a private room because of the distractions.

In a news release issued Wednesday after the vote passed, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said the new contract will help fill vacancies through "new recruitment and retention initiatives."

The new contract will raise starting salaries for officers; eliminate the 48-hour rule, which blocked immediate investigation of officer-involved shootings; erase 12 union grievances against the city; and make a commitment between the city and police union to comply with the Department of Justice Settlement Agreement.

READ MORE: Portland police chief says addressing staffing shortage a 'top priority'

"We are determined to fill officer vacancies with quality men and women from Portland’s diverse communities. People who believe in service and quality relationships in the community," Hales said. "Portland's labor agreement with our police union will not only address our police staffing crisis, it reinforces a modern police bureau of accountability and transparency, that fully represents our community."

RELATED: Read the new police union contract

The news release also said the city and the union will work together to create new rules for the use of body cameras. The new contract does not include any language about the use of body cameras.

Don't Shoot Portland camps outside City Hall

Don't Shoot Portland pitched tents and camped Tuesday night outside City Hall.

On Monday night, the group issued a news release calling for a Tuesday protest and campout, instructing its members to "be non-violent, non-destructive and respectful to our city and community members."

A couple hours before protesters were scheduled to start showing up Tuesday to set up camp for the night, the city locked the office doors to City Hall.

"Locking the public out of our own building and then calling it business as usual is outrageous," McKelvey said.

Last week, a meeting on the contract was moved and City Hall was locked after protests against the contract. Two people were arrested.

Don’t Shoot Portland said it is in the process of filing a lawsuit against the mayor’s office for Hales’ “disgusting abuse of power."

READ MORE: News release from Don't Shoot Portland

KGW reporters Dave Northfield, Kyle Iboshi, Mike Benner and Katherine Cook covered the protest at City Hall. Check out updates from the afternoon on the Twitter feeds for NorthfieldIboshiBenner and Cook.

 

 

 


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