Portland, Oregon Police Chief Michael Marshman revealed on Friday that riot cops forced Antifa protesters out of local parks during a Jun. 4 protest after the anti-facist group began launching balloons filled with feces, urine and chemicals at law enforcement.
In an open letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Marshman also noted that protesters “may have been using ‘gopher gassers,’” which are “small rodent poison gas devices.”
After The American Civil Liberties Union called the response to the Antifa group “excessive,” Mayor Wheeler demanded reasons from the Portland Police Department as to why they responded to rioters tactics in the way that they did.
The ACLU took issue with the way that protesters were “corralled” and photographed as a result of their demonstration.
About the law enforcement’s response to the protesters, ACLU Legal Director Mat dos Santos said:
“We are troubled by the continued crackdown on protest by Portland Police and cooperating agencies, but the kettling of individuals and refusal to let clearly innocent people free until they had been documented was another low for our city.”
In response to the ACLU’s claims that law enforcement used excessive force against Antifa protesters, as well as the call from Mayor Wheeler to provide documentation to support their use of force, Marshman responded with a six-page open letter, which detailed the biologically oriented attacks on officers.
“The decision to move the group located in Chapman Square was made after PPB had repeatedly observed objects being thrown and shot from slingshot type devices from Chapman Square into Terry Shrunk Plaza,” Marshman wrote. “These objects included urine and feces filled balloons, balloons with unknown chemicals, marbles, bricks and rocks.”
He added, “Given this, the assembly was declared an unlawful assembly and the park closed for public safety.”
Reporters from Willamette Week also noted that they witnessed rioters were throwing “red-stained” tampons at law enforcement officials during the “peaceful” protest.
Explaining why protesters were “corralled,” Marshman claimed that his task force was simply attempting to cut down on the potential of violent attacks between alt-left and alt-right groups who had gathered to face off.
As for why Marshman and his team photographed the protesters, the police chief simply chalked the decision up to speeding up the process of identification, rather than having to interview each offender individually, noting names and addresses.