Portland Police Bureau officers pepper sprayed demonstrators in Northeast Portland on Saturday while attempting to defuse a rally protesting cutbacks in city social services.
Officers confronted protesters near Lloyd Center, and were met by a raucous crowd who used ramming shields on bicycle patrol officers. One demonstrator was later arrested for attempting to steal a police bicycle.
While "free speech events" don't require a permit, marches or demonstrations on public streets that could disrupt traffic do require a permit. Organizers didn't respond to police, who attempted to contact them before the rally.
The march began at Holladay Park and proceeded west on Northeast Multnomah Street. Officers helped move the march toward Northeast 14th Avenue, where participants brought out additional ramming shields and confronted officers.
The demonstrators were seen putting on masks or goggles and multiple rows of people began using the shields to ram at the line of bicycle officers. Officers used pepper spray on the people in the front of the line who were ramming the officers.
Officers were able to pull the ramming devices away from the demonstrators and drag them away.
The ramming shields are built and designed to take direct offensive action against police, according to the bureau. Handles are installed on the back that allow for multiple people to hold and control the shield.