Police cut ‘sleeping dragon’ to detain ICE protesters chained to - KPTV - FOX 12

Police cut ‘sleeping dragon’ to detain ICE protesters chained together in SW Portland

Posted: Updated: Oct 12, 2017 04:02 PM
Image: KPTV Image: KPTV
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

People protesting Immigration and Customers Enforcement in southwest Portland used a homemade device called a “sleeping dragon” to chain themselves together, according to police.

Officers responded to the Federal Protective Service building on the 4300 block of Southwest Macadam Avenue at 2:44 p.m. Wednesday.

Upward of 30 protesters were blocking the entrance and exit to the building that houses multiple government agencies.  The protesters said they were blocking a bus carrying ICE detainees to a detention center in Tacoma, Washington.

Police said more than 50 people were unable to enter or exit the building or leave for the day because the driveway was blocked.

Investigators said the protesters were asked to let the people go home, but they refused. The protesters were also offered the opportunity of a grace period and to leave without arrests, but police said they refused that, as well.

Some of the protesters chained themselves together with a sleeping dragon. Police said sleeping dragons can include a variety of materials including cast iron, metal, plastic, pipes, concrete, tar, chicken wire, duct tape, chains and even feces.

“Officers have no idea what is in the sleeping dragons until they begin the process to cut and disassemble them,” according to the Portland Police Bureau.

In this case, the sleeping dragons were made of plastic pipe, yarn, fabric, chicken wire, steel bolts and chains. The protesters’ arms were connected by chains inside the pipe.

As officers removed additional layers, they determined power cutting tools would not be required. However, according to police, hoods were placed on the protesters’ heads to protect them from sparks caused by the cutting process.

Police said the hoods also prevented the protesters “from intentionally causing themselves injury during the removal and/or falsely claiming injury to halt the cutting.”

Officers cannot physically remove people connected to a sleeping dragon due to the possibility of injuries, including broken arms, to the protesters.

No injuries were reported Wednesday.

“Once the protestors were removed, the community members were able to leave--some had been trapped in their cars for more than an hour-and-a-half,” according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Portland police arrested 37-year-old Eli Richey for violating court-ordered restrictions, but officers said his arrest was not directly connected to the protest.

A Federal Protective Service spokesman reports six people were detained, cited and released for failure to comply to verbal warnings and blocking the federal facility. 

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