Protesters say arrests went too far, Mayor Hales launches invest - KPTV - FOX 12

Protesters say arrests went too far, Mayor Hales launches investigation

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is calling for an independent investigation on the Portland Police Bureau.

This comes after a video surfaced on social media, showing police making an arrest. Some have questioned if officers overstepped their use of force at a recent Portland protest.

The seven second clip, posted on social media, shows Portland police arresting 24-year-old Kathryn Stevens during a protest on November 21.

“I posted it last night. It’s video of police, after Kat had been detained, of them grabbing onto her head,” said Gregory McKelvey, organizer for “Portland’s Resistance” group, who’s also Steven’s boyfriend.

A video posted by Gregory McKelvey (@gmckelv) on

McKelvey says he saw it all happen, and thinks it went too far.

“It was an arrest that should have never happened. But once they had us on the ground and completely detained they kept going at it as if the arrest was still going on,” McKelvey told Fox 12.

But according to a police report, Stevens continued to resist arrest, and twisted her torso around while wrapping her legs around McKelvey, refusing to let go. Police say they then tried to use what’s called a mandibular angle pressure point.

“She's hurt. They didn't let her get any medical care in the jail, we were in there for six hours and it wasn't until then that we rushed her to the hospital and she couldn't even walk. She was in and out of consciousness,” McKelvey said.

Police reports detail when officers asked if Stevens had any medical issues, and she said she thought she had a broken thumb. When asked if there were any other medical issues, she said no. When offered treatment, police say she refused, saying she’d seek her own treatment when released.

“I wish they would come clean and admit they messed up. This is why we can't trust them," McKelvey explained.

As a response to the video, Mayor Hales has ordered an investigation into the use of force used by Portland police during the arrest.

The Mayor’s office saying, “I was made aware of new video footage showing a Portland Police officer arresting a protester. I take very seriously police use of force tactics in any situation. The independent review process is thorough, accurate and responsive, and if there are findings of wrongdoing, there will be proper discipline."

Fox 12 cameras were also at the protest and captured a different angle. It shows McKelvey also being arrested.

Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman responded to the allegations, saying in part, “I take any allegations of improper force and misconduct seriously. I demand that all officers’ conduct is within the law."

Meantime, McKelvey says he’s frustrated and plans to take legal action against what he calls an abuse of power.

“This is the kind of stuff that happens in Portland every single night,” McKelvey said.

Fox 12 reached out to Portland police for an on-camera interview. They referred us to a written statement: 

“As with all arrests and uses of force by police, officers write reports documenting the sequence of events and justifications for any use of force. If the actions of an officer are found to be in violation of policy, the officer may be subject to discipline.”

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