- Protesters used slingshots to launch balloons filled with urine, feces and unknown chemicals into police ranks
( By Katie Shepherd Published June 23 wweek.com)
Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman said today that riot cops pushed antifascist and anarchist protesters out of downtown parks June 4 after the protesters used slingshots to launch balloons filled with urine, feces and unknown chemicals into police ranks.
Marshman also told Mayor Ted Wheeler in an open letter that much of the smoke seen as officers cleared Chapman Square wasn’t released by police but by the left-wing protesters themselves. He says protesters “may have been using ‘gopher gassers,’ small rodent poison gas devices.”
Marshman’s allegations come in a response to Wheeler’s June 13 list of five questions that demanded an accounting for police tactics at the dueling June 4 protests in downtown Portland.
Wheeler’s questions followed criticism from protesters and the American Civil Liberties Union that the Portland police use of crowd-control weapons was out of proportion to the behavior of a handful of antifa protesters. (The “alt-right” protesters whose rally agitated both antifa and City Hall were hugely outnumbered, and they mostly contented themselves with taunting political enemies from behind police lines.)
In the response he provided to Wheeler today, Marshman defended police decisions on several fronts.
He said the decision to corral 345 people in downtown streets prevented violent confrontations between right-wing and left-wing protesters. He said photographing the detained protesters’ IDs sped up their release. And he said sending police into the streets wearing riot gear was necessary because of credible reports of protesters bringing weapons—reports he says proved true.