'We would prefer not to make arrests at all,' Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell says after DA decides to drop many protest cases


Published by OREGONLIVE.COM

Summary generated on August 11, 2020


    Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said Tuesday his officers prefer not to make arrests during demonstrations but that "Some people use the gatherings as an opportunity to commit crimes."

    Police have arrested more than 30 people in the last several days as some have set fires in and around police buildings, blocked streets, lit fireworks and thrown things at officers.

    Police have responded by declaring disturbances and pushing the crowd back with physical force and impact munitions.

    Lovell said the arrests have "Often come after hours of damage to private property, disruption of public transit and traffic on public streets, thefts from small businesses, arson, burglary, attacks on members of the community, and attacks against police officers."

    Going forward, he said, "The Portland Police Bureau remains committed to public safety."

    He didn't specifically address the latest arrests or the police tactics.

    Protests against police violence and anti-Black racism are set to continue Tuesday for their 76th day.

    "Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schmidt discussed a new policy declining certain cases presented to his office related to arrests made at protests."The Portland Police Bureau remains committed to public safety.

    People regularly meet to demonstrate all over Portland with no police interaction.

    "As always, whether the District Attorney decides to charge cases we send to his office is up to him. The Portland Police Bureau will continue to do the job the community expects of us, and will continue to reach out to all people to connect and build trusting relationships. One of those relationships is with the District Attorney, and we will continue to work with that office in the interest of public safety."Portland Police officers put themselves in harm's way daily as public servants.