District Attorney Vows to Prosecute Those Behind Brutal Assault in Portland

Victim released from hospital
August 18, 2020 Updated: August 21, 2020

The prosecutor in charge of Portland condemned the brutal violence that took place on Aug. 16 and vowed to punish those responsible.

According to witnesses, Black Lives Matter activists punched and kicked multiple people near a rally.

“Assaults will not be tolerated in our community. The videos recently posted to social media that show a person being violently pushed to the ground from behind and another person being kicked in the face are extremely concerning. The actions depicted in these videos are universally rejected as wrong—and the actions are illegal. I condemn this violence,” Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said in a statement to news outlets.

“Assaults on community members and police officers undermine everything our community is doing to bring meaningful and lasting change to the criminal justice system and beyond. My office is coordinating with law enforcement regarding their investigations into this type of assaultive behavior. Assaults and other violent crimes will be prosecuted when the evidence supports such action. If you have information on these or other crimes, please contact the Portland Police Bureau or Crime Stoppers of Oregon,” he added.

In a separate statement, the Portland Police Bureau said officers are investigating what happened. The bureau asked anyone with information to call detective Brent Christensen at 503-823-2087 or email him at Brent.Christensen@portlandoregon.gov.

Witnesses said the night of chaos began when Black Lives Matter protesters grew upset with a male for filming them in the vicinity of the Justice Center, a county building. They forced him to leave and soon assaulted him.

Warning: Video contains violent imagery and crude language.

When others tried intervening, they were assaulted as well.

That’s when a white male driving a truck stepped in. On foot, he tried to protect an individual from being assaulted by a mob, and the group turned on him. The man got back into his truck, sped away, and crashed into a tree.

The mob quickly moved to the truck, prevented the man from reentering the vehicle after he exited it, and began beating him on the street. No police officers were on site.

Portland is in the midst of an unprecedented chain of near-nightly violence that police say started on May 28.

Fifteen people were arrested over the weekend, but eight of them will likely have their charges dropped under a new policy Schmidt announced last week, a decision that prompted Oregon state troopers to withdraw from the city. The others were charged with assault or attempted assault of a police officer.

Portland Mayor and Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler’s office sent a statement to news outlets on Monday night. “I denounce all violence, including the assaults that were filmed and posted to social media last night. The work this community and others nationally are doing towards criminal justice reform and racial justice are in an effort to make our communities safer. Assaults like these make our community less safe,” the statement said.

Kalen D’Almeida, a reporter with Scriberr News who was filming during the mayhem, told The Epoch Times that it does not appear things are going to end anytime soon.

“They want total abolishment. They don’t want any prisons. They don’t want any police. They’re just going to keep going, that’s what I think. And it’s not going to be pretty,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Adam Haner resting at home in an undated photograph published on Aug. 17, 2020. (Adam Haner Fund/GoFundMe)

Victim Released

The white man who was beaten by the mob of primarily black individuals was rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

In a GoFundMe fundraiser, Brian Haner said the victim is his brother. Adam Haner has been released from the hospital and is resting at home, his brother said.

“Hoping this money will help Adam get things together for his life after the attack he suffered,” Brian Haner wrote.

“I know he will need repairs, or to replace the truck that was wrecked. He is going to need time to recover from his injuries as well. Plus replace things that where stolen from his pick-up that night.”

Citing video footage of the what happened, Brian Haner said that his sibling was attacked for trying to help someone.

“This is going to be an awakening experience for my brother in so many ways,” he said. “He’s always been cynical about the world at large, but has always been someone willing to step up and speak up to help someone being treated unfairly.”

Correction: This story was updated with clarification on the district attorney’s new policy.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber