Protesters disguised themselves as members of the press and harassed officers during Wednesday night’s demonstrations in Portland, the city’s police bureau said.
Several people who had labeled themselves as “press” threw eggs, rocks, and shined lasers into the eyes of police officers, the Portland police bureau said in a Thursday press release. The protesters continued to interfere with officers as they tried to disperse the crowd.
“Since several people with ‘press’ affixed to them continued to interfere with officers performing their lawful duties, a public address announcement was made which closed Southeast 106th Avenue from Southeast Washington Street to Southeast Cherry Blossom Street to all people including members of the press,” the news release said.
Protesters threw glass bottles, heavy rocks, and other objects at police. One officer was hit by a large rock and severely injured, according to the police bureau. An “unlawful assembly” was declared shortly before 10 PM “due to the crowd’s ongoing criminal behavior of vandalizing East Precinct and harassing community members.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Watch As Cops Haul Multiple Portland Protesters Right Off The Street)
Protesters have disguised themselves as members of the media before. Daily Caller reporter Shelby Talcott saw several people who were labeled as “press” actively participating in the demonstrations by chanting along with protesters or harassing officers.
I’ve seen this a lot here in Portland: people are claiming to be media, but they’re active participants in what typically turns into an unlawful assembly/riot.
Pretty dangerous for the actual reporters on the ground. What if officers stop taking these labels seriously? pic.twitter.com/9r1cmqbbwN
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) July 27, 2020
Townhall senior writer Julio Rosas confirmed that some protesters were labeling themselves as media despite not actually being members of the press. One man admitted to disguising himself as press to “avoid getting hit by the cops,” Rosas reported.
I can confirm some protesters are trying to disguise themselves as members of the press. He told me it’s to avoid getting hit by the cops. pic.twitter.com/uAGeja4ZGc
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) August 1, 2020
Protests in Portland have been ongoing since the May 25 death of George Floyd. An “unlawful assembly” has been declared several times as demonstrations turned violent. Protesters clashed with police and set fire to Portland’s federal courthouse.
13 people were arrested during Wednesday night’s events, according to the police bureau.