FILE — Portland Police

Portland police officers walk through the Laurelhurst neighborhood after dispersing protesters from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office early in the morning on Saturday in Portland, Oregon.

(The Center Square) — A small Saturday protest against police brutality in Portland saw nearly one in three demonstrators arrested by the Portland Police Bureau with no reported violence against officers. 

On Saturday night, Portland police arrested 26 demonstrators who were part of a small group that met up at Alberta Park before marching to the PPB's North Precinct.

According to journalists reporting from the small protest, police warned protesters to disperse before making arrests. The PPB reportedly did not declare an unlawful assembly on social media.

The PPB reported that protesters were wearing protective equipment such as helmets and masks, the latter of which is required under Gov. Kate Brown's COVID-19 health orders.

In a news release, the PPB claimed arrests were made out of concern for "the safety of the protesters" who were blocking traffic.

Sergio Olmos, a reporter with Oregon Public Broadcasting, said the protest lasted only a few minutes.

Olmos added in his reports that police warned protesters to get out of the street, where they did not have a permit to be walking. No unlawful assembly was declared.

PPB officials wrote in a news release that it did not deploy tear gas per the city’s recent ban on the practice.

The vast majority of the charges against the demonstrators arrested by the PPB on Saturday ranged form disorderly conduct to interfering with a police officer, as has been commonplace over the course of this year’s protests in Portland.

A freelance journalist, Alissa Azar, alleged in a video posted to Twitter that PPB officers on site dispersed reporters documenting the incident, which is banned under a temporary restraining order. The PPB did not offer comment on the matter.

On Sunday night, a protest was declared a riot by the PPB after demonstrators marched through the South Park Blocks, tearing down statues of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt in protest of colonialism, according to social media posts.

The statue of Theodore Roosevelt features the former U.S. president on horseback wearing a uniform during his ascent of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War.

According to social media posts of the scene, Abraham Lincoln’s statue was emblazoned with graffiti which read, “Dakota,” possibly referencing the war between the U.S. and several bands of Dakota also known as the eastern Sioux along the Minnesota River in 1862 under Lincoln’s presidency.

Protesters part of Sunday night’s demonstrations continued on to the Oregon Historical Society where they smashed windows, according to a report from the Oregonian, on the eve of Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler decried vandalism of the museum, calling on protesters to demonstrate peacefully.

"We are five months into this and we still have a fairly high level of violence taking place," Wheeler said. "We need to all come together and be mindful of what we want as a city and what we're willing to tolerate.

Wheeler's election opponent, Sarah Iannarone, said that as mayor she would "push the city council to listen and act swiftly" when it came to the removal of controversial city monuments.

"Our systems of government have long ignored problematic symbols and impacts of institutional racism, I am committed to changing that as mayor," Iannarone said. "People are hurting and that pain is valid. But anonymous acts of destruction outside of any agreed-upon process are toxic, unaccountable behavior that has no place in our city."

Protests against police brutality in Portland have gone on for the past five months following the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police.

Staff Reporter

Tim Gruver is a politics and public policy reporter. He is a University of Washington alum and the recipient of the 2017 Pioneer News Award for Reporting. His work has appeared in Politico, the Kitsap Daily News, and the Northwest Asian Weekly.