Aug 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Violence in Portland after far-right groups rally

Protesters carry flags at a rally between the far-right Proud Boy and Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon on August 22

The Proud Boys and other far-right groups rally in downtown Portland, Oregon on Aug. 22 for the second Saturday in a row. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Federal authorities intervened after clashes between armed far-right groups, some with "ties to fascist" organizations, and anti-racism protesters near the Justice Center in downtown Portland, Oregon, saw rocks, mace and paint balls used, per the Oregonian.

Of note: Portland Police officers "remained at a distance ... even as people beat others with sticks, and at least two right-wing activists brandished handguns," the Washington Post reports. The police blamed limited resources in a statement on "why the events downtown were not declared a riot and why police did not intervene."

Why it matters: Portland Police have frequently declared riots during unrest in the city since Black Lives Matter protests began 85 days ago, including on Friday.

What they're saying: The police said Portland officers "have been the focus of over 80 days of violent actions directed at the police, which is a major consideration for determining if police resources are necessary to interject."

  • According to the police, there were "some physical interactions which quickly resolved themselves" during the two-hour standoff.
"Some members from both groups threw projectiles and deployed aerosols like pepper and bear spray at each other. At times, fireworks were thrown and smoke canisters were deployed. Each skirmish appeared to involve willing participants and the events were not enduring in time, so officers were not deployed to intervene."
ā€” Police statement
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