When some people in the crowd smashed windows or lit fires, the police often responded by blanketing streets in tear gas and knocking protesters to the ground. The city has faced a series of lawsuits over the use of tear gas as well as individual instances of excessive force, including a recent $100,000 settlement with a protester who said officers tried to take his sign before spraying him in the face and throwing him to the ground.
Understand the Protests in Portland
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A year of protests. The demonstrations that swept the country after George Floyd’s death in 2020 lived on for much of the year in Portland, Ore. What began as a call for police accountability and racial justice morphed into a complex mobilization, punctuated at times by unrest and destruction.
Who are the protesters? At first, the protests brought together a coalition of racial justice advocates and antifascists. Over the course of a year, a hardened but small core of street activists, many of them professing opposition to authority in general, dug in.
How has the city responded? After almost a year of near-continuous protests, Portland’s city leaders signaled that it might be time for a more aggressive crackdown. Mayor Ted Wheeler vowed to “unmask” those demonstrators who engaged in repeated acts of vandalism or arson.
Was the federal response appropriate? An aggressive incursion of federal officers into Portland stretched the legal limits of their authority and escalated violence, and The Times found that F.B.I. agents established surveillance teams inside the protests, raising concerns for some within the bureau.
Teressa Raiford, the executive director of the activist organization Don’t Shoot Portland, said that the training materials did not surprise her but that she was glad they were now available for everyone to see. She said the assaults described in the meme were the types of things protesters in Portland have witnessed for years.
“I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. I’ve experienced it,” Ms. Raiford said.
Ms. Raiford said she wanted the Justice Department to investigate the Portland Police Bureau for its tactics, for bias and for links between officers and white nationalist organizations. Federal agents played their own role during the protests, violently confronting demonstrators in front of the U.S. courthouse downtown; F.B.I. agents were then deployed to surveil the crowds in the months that followed.
The Portland slide show includes various strategies and weapons for containing protests, including an “escalated force” model in which officers are confrontational with demonstrators. The presentation also details a “negotiated management” model, which details how officers can be friendly, maintaining open communications with protest organizers while staging riot teams out of sight. The slide show notes that the negotiated model “does not work with anarchists or radical groups who refuse to negotiate with police.”
In 2021, after nearly a year of unrest in the aftermath of Mr. Floyd’s murder, which included regular demonstrations that led to smashed windows of everything from coffee shops to a Boys & Girls Club, the city pursued a forceful crackdown.
Mr. Wheeler said at the time that he wanted to “unmask” those demonstrators who had engaged in repeated acts of vandalism or arson, saying it was time to “hurt them a little bit.”
Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/14/us/portland-police-protests.html749