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Portland police cruiser barrels through intersection as protesters move barricades

Police say they saw protesters using "what looked to be an accelerant" before an officer sped through the intersection.

PORTLAND, Ore. — What remained a peaceful protest for the majority of the evening devolved into chaos late Tuesday night, as Portland police officers deployed tear gas and other crowd control measures in an attempt to scatter protesters.

A video of a Portland police cruiser barreling through a downtown intersection, however, is gaining traction online.

KGW's chopper was flying above downtown just after midnight, when they spotted a group of protesters moving around barricades at the intersection of Southwest Broadway and Morrison Street, by Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Within moments, a Portland police cruiser sped through the intersection, narrowly missing a handful of protesters:

In a news release sent early Wednesday morning, Portland police said they saw protesters gathering pallets and barricades in a pile at Southwest 6th Avenue and Yamhill Street.

They said protesters used "a bucket of what was believed to be an accelerant poured on top of the pile."

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According to a news release, Portland police said they were concerned about "life safety risk" of people in the area, attempted to clear the group via loud speaker, and then eventually drove through the intersection. Portland police said they're still "researching the circumstances" of what occurred. 

"It's being investigated. I don't know the circumstances as to why that occurred. I can't speculate as to the officer's actions at this point. but it is one of the videos that we are aware of and that we are looking at," Chief Jami Resch said in a news conference Wednesday morning.

In a news conference Wednesday night regarding their use of force, Portland police said the video is the "worst of the worst" and "doesn't represent the hard work [they're] doing to serve and protect."

It's not completely clear whether there were two incidents of police cruisers barreling through barricades where protesters were gathering. The intersection where KGW spotted the incident is two blocks away from the area Portland police addressed in their news release. 

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