Protests turn violent, one person shot on bridge

Organizers said this was not to be a march through the streets

A protester was shot on the Morrison Bridge after a confrontation with a motorist, November 12, 2016 (KOIN)
A protester was shot on the Morrison Bridge after a confrontation with a motorist, November 12, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland police made “several arrests” during a 4th night of protests in the streets following the election of Donald Trump as president, and one person was shot during an altercation on the Morrison Bridge.

What began as a peaceful protest quickly turned confrontational when “agitators rallied enough people to get into the street” and move throughout the city, PPB Sgt. Pete Simpson told KOIN 6 News.

Simpson said the police used stingball grenades which are “used to motivate the crowd to move.” While that worked on Thursday night, he said the Friday “crowd was much more aggressive and confrontational with police.”

Lit flares and rocks were among the items thrown at police, Simpson said, who responded by using pepper spray, tear gas, flash bangs and smoke.

Police are investigating a shooting that happened after midnight on the Morrison Bridge.

According to police, there was an altercation between a protester and someone in a car on the bridge. The suspect got out of the car and fired multiple shots, causing non life-threatening injuries to the man.

Early Saturday morning, the suspect’s vehicle was spotted by an off-duty officer around NE 102nd and Sandy. On-duty officers stopped the car and detained 4 people, all believed to be gang members, Portland police said. A gun was found in the car, according to police.

The gang-enforcement team arrested 2 of the 4 people who were detained. The suspects, 18-year-old Steffon Marquise Corothers and 18-year-old, Shamar Xavier Hunter, were booked into the Multnomah County Jail.

Corothers faces one charge of attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon and Hunter faces 6 counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.

Any witnesses are asked to contact police at 503.823.3333.

Protests may continue through the weekend, and Simpson said the police message to protesters is that “perhaps another day would be better. Things are not stable right now,” and there are “groups out to hijack a (peaceful) protest into mayhem.”

He added, “The city is fatigued and whatever message you’re trying to convey will be lost.”

Almost as quickly as it began, it seemed to end around 11:30 p.m., shortly after a big push by Portland police that effectively dispersed the crowd. But it didn’t end. Smaller groups continued to protest through the night and included the shooting on the Morrison Bridge.

The protest

More than 4 hours after the protest began with a rally at Portland City Hall, at least 3 separate groups were marching through different parts of the city — downtown, in the Pearl District and near the bridges on either side of the Willamette River.

Thousands of protesters, mixed in with anarchists for the second straight night, causing havoc, damage and vandalism throughout the city

Police repeatedly used a bullhorn to tell the protesters they were “participating in an unlawful protest,” and had been seen committing “vandalism and assault.” If they didn’t move, the police said, the protesters were “subject to use of force” and “arrest and prosecution. Move now!”

Instead, the protesters stayed and took cell-phone videos.

Around 9: 45 p.m., police began using flash bangs and tear gas to disperse one group around SW 4th and Jefferson.

That was about an hour after ODOT closed the northbound I-5 at the Marquam Bridge, the southbound I-5 at the Fremont Bridge and I-84 at the I-5 junction. Later, police tweeted they were working with ODOT and officials at the Moda Center to help with traffic leaving the Blazers game. Just before 11 p.m., ODOT said all Portland-area highways were once again open.

The police used a bullhorn throughout the night, with little effect on the group.

Marchers began taking to the streets around 7 p.m., chanting “Whose street? My street!” That chant echoed at times throughout the night, along with “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.”

Portland police in riot gear faced off against the protesters and told the crowd to move north on 4th Avenue “if they want to march.” No one moved until about 7:20 p.m.

The protest split into at least 2 groups at this point. Some stayed behind near Wells Fargo Tower while others remained near SW 4th and Taylor.

Protesters were met by a police line at SW 4th and Washington. Despite the police orders, the protesters moved onto SW 3rd and walked against traffic, creating chaos, traffic delays and confusion.

Police blocked them from getting on the Burnside Bridge as they headed toward Old Town.

Portland police tweeted: “Still a large crowd in front of City Hall. Approximately, 1,000 people are now marching southbound on 5th Avenue.”

One group of protesters took over the South Park blocks and staged a sit-in before continuing down Main Street and turning south on Broadway.

As marchers reached Broadway and Market, another line of police in riot gear blocked their progress and threatened them with arrest. The marchers chanted, “Peaceful protest!” in a somewhat tense moment, then moved away and returned to the Wells Fargo Center, where this began.

A large crowd seemed to mill about in the area as police seemingly contained them. But the crowd then moved toward the Hawthorne Bridge, the scene where Thursday night’s protest escalated.

Instead, the protesters stayed and took cell-phone videos.

Despite the police orders, the protesters moved onto SW 3rd and walked against traffic, creating chaos, traffic delays and confusion. Police blocked them from getting on the Burnside Bridge as they headed toward Old Town.

Portland police tweeted: “Still a large crowd in front of City Hall. Approximately, 1,000 people are now marching southbound on 5th Avenue.” 

One group of protesters took over the South Park blocks and staged a sit-in before continuing down Main Street and turning south on Broadway.As marchers reached Broadway and Market, another line of police in riot gear blocked their progress and threatened them with arrest. The marchers chanted, “Peaceful protest!” in a somewhat tense moment, then moved away and returned to the Wells Fargo Center, where this began.

A large crowd seemed to mill about in the area as police seemingly contained them.

But the crowd then moved toward the Hawthorne Bridge, the scene where Thursday night’s protest escalated. Marchers

TriMet warned riders of delays

How Friday evening began

After a calm rally that began around 5 p.m., protesters took to the streets and blocked SW 4th Avenue. A heavy police presence met the protesters and, using a bullhorn, ordered them back to the property at City Hall. Protesters went face-to-face with Portland police in riot gear.

A crowd of about 1000 people filled the entire rotunda and sidewalks outside City Hall, then broke into smaller groups to discuss local and national issues. Many people voiced their concern and frustration with President-elect Trump.

Greg McKelvey and Micah Rhodes, leaders of Portland’s Resistance, organized this event and repeatedly said it was not going to be a march through the streets.

Portland’s Resistance said the rally would also focus on minority rights, rent control and the issue of police brutality.

On their Facebook page, the group said the rally was to “Show the world what a progressive city can actually look like.”