Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Release
Unified Command responds to use of force concerns during Saturday night demonstration - 09/28/20

The Unified Command strongly supports the fundamental rights outlined in the Constitution’s First Amendment, to freedom of speech and free press. Free speech events are the most complex and difficult events to manage in policing today. While we strive for peaceful outcomes, there are times law enforcement has to react to situations where people are confrontational or engaged in illegal behavior.

On Saturday night, law enforcement agencies operating under a unified command structure, declared an unlawful assembly after individuals showered officers with projectiles, to include rocks, glass and fireworks, and failed to heed multiple warnings to leave the area. During dispersal, officers continued warnings and directed individuals to leave by moving out of the area.

Unified Command learned of several use of force incidents captured on video that occurred Saturday night. We have directed staff to review the videos to determine if any deputies, officers or troopers may have acted outside the scope of their policy or training. If an action warrants further investigation, the video will be referred to the administration and review boards of the particular agency the officer belongs to.

We routinely review our law enforcement actions after every use of force and are not waiting for specific complaints to be received to begin a critique of our actions.

Individuals who felt an officer’s action was unjust or excessive, should file a complaint with the officer’s department or review board. Each officer is responsible for following their agency’s use of force policy. ###

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