Police arrested at least 14 people in Portland, Oregon, Sunday as thousands attended opposing rallies in the wake of the fatal stabbing of two men who attempted to stop another man’s anti-Muslim tirade aboard a commuter train.
A pro-Trump, free speech rally organized by the conservative group Patriot Prayer contended with groups of anti-Trump and “anti-hate” demonstrators.
One counter-protest held in Chapman Square was shut down by officials after protesters began throwing bricks, glass bottles and balloons of “foul-smelling liquid” at officers. At least 14 arrests were made, and demonstrators were dispersed using “less-lethal chemical munition” such as tear gas.
CNN reported that “Portland police did not indicate which side those arrested belonged to. CNN crews on the scene observed that most of the arrests were concentrated in the area of counterdemonstrators.”
Those arrested face various charges including disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed weapon, interfering with a peace officer and harassment.
During his speech to the pro-Trump crowd, rally organizer Joey Gibson said the goal of the event was to wake up the liberty movement. “It’s okay to be a conservative in Portland,” he said. Rally attendees chanted “USA” and held banners in support of President Trump.
CBS affiliate KOIN-TV reported that more than 60 separate groups protested outside of Portland City Hall.
The pro-Trump and anti-Trump groups were separated by a wall of local and federal officers, heavily armed and wearing protective body armor.
Unidentified suspects on roof of Chapman Square bathroom. Bag of bricks located, possibly taken from building. pic.twitter.com/WtMeIxUXW6
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 5, 2017
“Portland will take a deep breath and realize this is a moment we need to stand up for,” said Nico Judd, a protester with Portland Stands United Against Hate.
Fearing violence following the politically-charged May 26 stabbings aboard a Portland commuter train, Mayor Ted Wheeler unsuccessfully attempted last week to get the federal government to revoke the permit for the free speech event.
According to Police Sgt. Pete Simpson, the suspect in the light-rail stabbings, Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, allegedly murdered two men and injured another on the light-rail train when they tried to intervene after he aimed anti-Muslim slurs at two young women, one wearing a hijab. Christian faces charges of aggravated murder and other counts.
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