Portland Police Claim to Find Bag of Weapons
As tensions between protesters and federal officers continue to escalate at the nightly Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Portland, Oregon, Portland Police are claiming they found a bag of weapons they’re connecting to a fringe group. They say they have no suspects and are asking the public for help.
The Portland Police’s Twitter account released an image of what they claim is “ammunition and destructive devices” they recovered from Lownsdale Square, which is located in the epicenter of the protests. However, sharp-eyed Twitter users were quick to respond with images of their own that show the weapons actually belong to the federal officers who are occupying the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse. Portland Police have been criticized for helping the officers, rather than protecting citizens.
“I found the terrorists,” tweeted user Chad Loder. “Please arrest them.” Included with his tweet is an image of a federal officer holding nearly identical weaponry similarly spattered with orange paint.
This is just the latest of many issues the Portland Police have had over the last two months of nightly protests. When they began in May, scattered incidences of violence were reported. But tensions and violent clashes rose drastically with the arrival of the unidentified and unwelcome officers. At first, their presence went almost unnoticed and crowd numbers had begun to dwindle. But soon reports of protesters being removed from the streets and thrown into the backs of unmarked minivans began to circulate, and now an estimated three to four thousand people have been out on the streets to protest the occupation.
Critics have suggested that the Black Lives Matter message has been overshadowed by the reports of teargassing moms and beating veterans. DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf has complained about his officers being injured in the “line of duty” while continuing to insist the protests are completely violent. Videos from the protests reveal the opposite, with lullabies and chants in support of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the long list of other people of color who have died at the hands of police brutality. Meanwhile, House Democrats are investigating the use of force during the protests.