Black Lives Matter Activists Behind Assaults in Downtown Portland, Witnesses Say

August 17, 2020 Updated: August 21, 2020

Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon, were involved in assaults on multiple people late on Aug. 16, including a man who was knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, according to witnesses.

“They were marching around saying it. They said it repeatedly. They were doing this because this is BLM, this is Black Lives Matter,” Kalen D’Almeida, a reporter for Scriberr News, told The Epoch Times.

“The people that were there, they were there to hurt somebody,” he added.

Drew Hernandez, an independent reporter, also said evidence pointed to Black Lives Matter protesters being involved in the violence.

And a female live streamer who captured some of the violence before being confronted was told: “Do not record [things] that don’t matter to Black Lives Matter.”

Warning: Footage in this article contains imagery that could be disturbing to some, and crude language.

Witnesses say the situation started when Black Lives Matter protesters grew upset at a man for allegedly videotaping near the Justice Center, and forcefully ejected him from the gathering.

When others tried standing up for the man, they were assaulted.

At one point, a man who drove a truck to the area and parked nearby was on the sidewalk helping one of the people who were assaulted. The mob then turned on him, issuing threats. When he re-entered his truck, they banged on it and urged him to leave. He sped away but crashed within minutes into a tree.

“They basically chased down his truck, caused him to crash, pulled him out of the car, started going through his car, and just started assaulting him in the street,” D’Almeida said.

“It was just horrific.”

Footage shows one black individual, who had “security” affixed to his clothing, punch the driver seven times.

The driver, who was on the ground outside his vehicle, sat dazed. That’s when a man, possibly the same one, stepped up and delivered a kick to the victim’s face.

Police officers weren’t visible during the time these assaults were taking place, D’Almeida said.

In a statement, the Portland Police Bureau said officers responded to a report of an injury around 10:30 p.m. at Southwest Broadway and Southwest Taylor Street.

The report said protesters were chasing the truck before it crashed, and they assaulted the driver after the crash, police said. Officers encountered a “hostile crowd,” forcing them to wait for another squad to help secure the scene and load the victim into an ambulance.

The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries, police said. In a separate press release, police said the injuries were not life threatening.

The bureau didn’t respond to phone calls or emails seeking more information on Aug. 17, including an update on the victim’s condition.

“I hope the guy is alive,” D’Almeida said. “I’m just hoping I didn’t videotape a murder.”

Police officials said they’re investigating what happened and asked anyone with information to contact Brent Christensen, a detective, at 503-823-2087 or Brent.Christensen@portlandoregon.gov.

Unrest has shaken Portland since May 28, with no end in sight.

D’Almeida thinks recent violence stems from new Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, who announced last week that his office would likely drop cases involving some crimes committed during demonstrations.

“The DA there is enabling this sort of stuff to go on, night after night after night,” the reporter said.

Brent Weisberg, a spokesman for Schmidt’s office, told The Epoch Times via email that cases referred by the police over the weekend are still being reviewed. He declined to answer when asked how many cases have been approved since the new policy was announced.

In a statement issued later to news outlets, Schmidt said, “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,” he added.

“I condemn this violence. 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.”

Mayor and Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, didn’t respond to a request for comment, nor did his communications director.

Wheeler condemned rioters in early August but has remained silent on the recent incidents of violence.

His last public statement was on Aug. 15, congratulating Portland’s professional basketball team for a win.

Disclosure: Jamie Joseph, Scriberr’s editor-in-chief, is a reporter for The Epoch Times.

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

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber