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Wednesday, October 12th 2016
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Ten people have been arrested following "disturbances" inside and outside of Portland City Hall Wednesday.
For the past several weeks, activists with Don't Shoot PDX and Black Lives Matter have been asking Mayor Charlie Hales to hold off on voting on a new Portland Police union contract until mayor-elect Ted Wheeler gets into office.
Hales, along with Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman, said passing the contract was "critical" to filling upcoming vacancies in the bureau. Protesters have taken issue with several aspects of the contract, namely a clause they say would allow officers to review body camera footage before writing reports.
However, Commissioner Nick Fish told KATU News nothing in the contract addresses the use of body cameras.
"It was carved out and will be discussed with the community later," Fish explained.
Activists had planned to testify against the contract in front of city council Wednesday, but they say they weren't given the chance to do so. Some of them moved their tents inside city hall, and continued protesting while council voted to pass the contract 3-1.
Officials then placed city hall on a lock-in and asked everyone to leave. Police say activists were given enough time to evacuate the building, before the situation took a dramatic turn as some sort of "projectiles" were thrown at officers.
Tumult ensued on the steps of Portland City Hall as police pepper-sprayed and arrested protesters in the aftermath of an unruly demonstration Wednesday over a newly approved contract for rank-and-file officers.
The scene devolved into a lengthy standoff,with dozens of protesters swarming Southwest Fifth Avenue and blocking traffic and light-rail trains until an estimated 75 officers in riot gear intervened.
Police had already shoved protesters out of City Hall, dousing some with pepper spray, after they disrupted a City Council hearing. Demonstrators wouldn't begin dispersing until just after 5 p.m., some eight hours after the unparalleled protest began.
The source of contention: City Council's 3-1 vote for a controversial new police contract, and Mayor Charlie Hales' unprecedented maneuvering within City Hall to conduct the vote in meeting room cordoned off from protesters
Published October 13, 2016
Portland City Hall Come To Speak Stay For The Beatings