Portland, OR – Anitfa and other protesters defaced a war memorial by spray-painting vulgar and violent anti-police statements across it during a demonstration in Lownsdale Square Park on Saturday.
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) released photos of the vandalized monument, which was covered in slogans such as “all cops are bastards,” “punch cops,” and “kill cops,” among others.
The antifa gathering was orchestrated as a counter-protest to another rally that was supposed to have taken place outside the Multnomah County Courthouse, FOX News reported.
That rally was rumored to have been a Ku Klux Klan white supremacy demonstration, but is was canceled at the last minute, the PPB said.
Undeterred, the antifa counter-protesters showed up anyway, and eventually began threatening and behaving violently towards people who were “legally capturing photos and videos,” police said in a press release.
Three people were arrested during the four hours of chaos that ensued.
Some members of the group allegedly jabbed at people with metal-tipped umbrellas and chased them down the street, according to FOX News.
Others hurled food, cans, batons, concrete, rocks, and other objects at law enforcement officers and citizens.
At one point, someone tossed two incendiary devices into traffic, police said.
Investigators believe those devices were flares.
A pedestrian was struck by a car during the gathering, and was rushed to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Medics also had to treat three people after they were exposed to pepper spray by members of the crowd.
The PPB struggled to respond to other calls for service throughout the city due to having to divert so many officers to quell the mayhem, FOX News reported.
One suspect, 25-year-old Willy Cannon, was arrested on charges of abusing a memorial and felony criminal mischief after a short foot pursuit, police said.
A second individual involved in defacing the war memorial remains at large, and police have asked for the community’s assistance in an effort to identify that person.
Heaven Davis, 19, was charged with criminal mischief during the rally, and Brandon Farley, 31, was arrested for disorderly conduct, FOX News reported.
“I want to acknowledge the community members who came down to peacefully assemble and exercise their freedom of speech rights,” PPB Chief Jami Resch said in a statement. “Unfortunately, a group of people chose to engage in dangerous, illegal behavior. I appreciate the thoughtful, measured response by our officers and law enforcement partners.”
The PPB also noted that police “did not use force against anyone” during the protest, FOX News reported.