Man arrested, accused of driving into crowd of protesters in SW Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. – A man is facing assault and reckless driving charges after police say he drove into a crowd of protesters that was blocking SW 4th Avenue, striking one person.
The demonstration was in response to a Grand Jury ruling that found the officers who shot and killed 27-year-old Patrick Kimmons justified in the shooting. They gathered in the intersection near where Kimmons died to protest the police use of deadly force.
Officers say they were telling people to stop blocking the intersection before 55-year-old Mark A. Dickerson drove a dark blue Chevy pickup into the crowd and hit a protester.
The protester did not require medical treatment, police said.
Officers stopped the Chevrolet near the intersection of SW 3rd and Madison Street and took Dickerson into custody without incident.
He was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on fourth-degree assault, reckless endangering, and reckless driving charges.
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The Police Bureau recognizes that crowd control events that impact traffic are complex incidents that are extremely dangerous. During today's event, officers recognized that demonstrators were distraught about the loss of a loved one and the officers attempted to provide direction to the protesters without enflaming the situation.
The initial mission today was to ensure the safety of those people demonstrating and other community members traveling on the roadways. Police established detours as additional resources were called to the scene to assist with directing the protesters off the street and onto the sidewalk.