The Portland Police sent out a lengthy email this afternoon clarifying some of the more confusing moments from this weekend's Occupy Portland actions.
• Last night, someone glued shut the doors of the US Bank, Bank of America, and Key Bank locations around SE Hawthorne and Cesar Chavez Boulevard. How do you glue shut bank doors? I have no idea. Superglue in the key hole? (Do banks have key holes?)
• Police say that, contrary to several protester reports, they "did not club or beat anyone with batons" and that all uses of force were documented according to bureau policy.
• Overtime costs for the weekend were roughly $450,000—that's compared to $300,000 in overtime costs for the whole other five weeks of the occupation.
• About 300 officers were on the scene during the weekend, including crowd control teams from Salem, Beaverton, and Vancouver, Washington.
Also spelled out in the police statement is what happened during the tense turning-point moment Sunday just before 2am, when police officers pushed into a crowd of protesters, attempting to clear the street, and an officer was injured by an object thrown from the crowd. Actually, it turns out, two officers were hit by thrown items. The officer who was taken to the hospital, Officer Curtis Brown, has received an outpouring of well-wishing and will be back at work soon. The second officer, who is not named, did not require medical attention because the thrown object struck his riot-gear helmet. Good thing, too, because the object was a knife with a three inch blade.
AAAA! Imagine how terrible, terrible, absolutely terrible it would have been if the knife struck flesh instead of helmet. Imagine the potential loss of the officer's life. Imagine how that would have colored the Occupy movement not just locally, but nationally.
Occupy is supposed to be against corporate greed, for a representative government, against making the rich richer and the poor poorer. It's not about throwing knives at cops. That's not what a democracy looks like, that's what dumbassery looks like. Let's hope the movement stays safe as it moves forward.
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