Police chief asks protesters to take night off; contingency plan - KPTV - FOX 12

Police chief asks protesters to take night off; contingency plan in place for anarchists

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Image from Thursday night's riot in Portland. (KPTV) Image from Thursday night's riot in Portland. (KPTV)
Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. (KPTV) Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. (KPTV)
Speaker at rally at City Hall on Friday. (KPTV) Speaker at rally at City Hall on Friday. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A day after anarchists joined thousands of people protesting in Portland and caused serious damage to cars and buildings, the Portland police chief asked protesters to take the night off Friday.

Chief Mike Marshman and Mayor Charlie Hales addressed Thursday night's protest that turned into a riot during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Hales said he supporters the First Amendment right of protesters and said, "anarchists hijacked the event."

"They spread violence and fear and detracted from the legitimate exercise of that First Amendment right," Hales said.

Micah Rhodes, activist and protest organizer with Don't Shoot Portland and Portland's Resistance, said peaceful protesters were not the cause of Thursday night's destruction.   

He said a GoFundMe account had already raised more than $25,000 that will go toward repairing the damage. 

Rhodes said a peaceful rally was planned for 5 p.m. Friday at Portland City Hall.

"Tonight we are not having a march, as far as I'm concerned," Rhodes said.

Friday's rally featured a number of speakers and did not lead to any immediate issues. 

Marshman said police decided to take a "light touch" with protesters on Wednesday night. While that protest was largely peaceful, protesters did block traffic on Portland bridges and freeways.

Marshman said it is his preference that people stay off freeways because of serious safety issues.

He said when things turned violent Thursday, police had to balance intervening and the potential it could create for violence against officers and between protesters.

Police said 25 people were arrested.

Marshman said the police bureau would like to ask protesters to take the night off Friday, but if they do plan to protest, it would be safest to remain in one place.

He also said contingency plans are in place if anarchists once again get involved.  

"If we get intelligence that you want to create havoc and cause damage to the city, we'll respond accordingly to that," Marshman said.

Hales encouraged people not to be fearful of going out into town because of the riot that took place Thursday.

"Here in Portland, this is a good place and a safe place," Hales said.

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