Police defend actions during Occupy Portland raid
PORTLAND — Portland police on Monday defended their use of batons to shove Occupy Portland protesters from a camp they had held for weeks, and also revealed that bottles and an open pocketknife had been thrown at police officers during a confrontation hours before the camp was taken down.Riot police moved into the camp shortly after noon on Sunday, using batons to shove a cluster of protesters out of the camp and dragging out those who resisted, including some who were holed up in a makeshift fort made of plywood, pallets, shopping carts and other debris. A total of 51 protesters were arrested during the Sunday afternoon action. It came several hours after thousands of people had filled an adjacent street during the night to try to hinder police in carrying out Mayor Sam Adams’ order that protesters had to leave the camp by midnight Saturday.There wasn’t much left of the camp when riot police entered it. Many protesters and the homeless people who lived there since Oct. 6 had moved out. Most of the tents had been taken down. What was left was a scattering of tents and a makeshift fort built of plywood and debris. At least one demonstrator, Justin Bridges, was hospitalized after being dragged away by police. Demonstrators took to Twitter to accuse police of using excessive force when they dragged Bridges from the front lines, saying authorities aggravated a prior back injury. Police said Bridges fell and officers pulled him out of harm’s way and had no way of knowing his medical history.