March 13 (UPI) — Portland, Ore., police detained about 100 protesters and arrested 13 people overnight, bringing a demonstration to a halt shortly after it began.
According to a news release from the Portland Police Bureau, a group of demonstrators began marching from Jamison Park in Northwest Portland around 9 p.m. Friday.
KGW-TV in Portland reported the protest was in response to Department of Homeland Security officers stationed in the city as well as police use of force against people of color.
At 9:15, police said, some in the crowd began breaking windows at nearby businesses and police created a perimeter around the group on Northwest Marshall Street between Northwest 13th Avenue and Northwest 14th Avenue.
The Oregonian reported that police told the crowd they were detaining everyone for “investigation of a crime” but did not offer specifics, though they later issued a news release saying protesters had broken storefront windows and thrown objects at officers.
Police later reported they arrested 13 people on a range of charges including criminal mischief, interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest.
Two people were arrested on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and one on a charge of unlawful use of a weapon.
Police also reported that they had used pepper spray and one impact munition.
The police tactic of surrounding a crowd to contain and temporarily detain them, sometimes known as kettling, was the subject of two civil lawsuits against the city stemming from detainments during protests in 2017.
But in January two federal judges in separate opinions either dismissed or recommended throwing out both lawsuits.
“If kettling is to be used as a technique it has to be well-planned and well-trained for,” Portland Mayor and police Commissioner Ted Wheeler said in January.
Those detained included members of the media.
At about 10:15 p.m., police started to release legal observers and members of the media, according to media reports.
Police also said they escorted medically fragile people out of the kettle.
Independent journalists at the scene said as they were released, police made the protesters give their name and birthdate, wrote the information on duct tape and gave it to each person to place on their chest — police then photographed the protesters without masks on.
One freelance journalist reported that she was escorted to an area a block away where she could no longer see activity.
“Those that were being detained were identified and photographed, as part of a criminal investigation, before being released. Some refused to comply and locked arms together in an effort to interfere with the investigation. Officers escorted them away and they were arrested. A suspect in the earlier window vandalism was arrested and charged,” PPB’s release said.
It is unclear how long demonstrators were detained, but The Oregonian reported that as of midnight there were still dozens of people inside the perimeter.