Brandon Chase/ABC News(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Police seized several weapons and arrested 14 protesters in Portland, Oregon on Sunday as a day of demonstrations descended into chaos.
The arrests were made throughout the course of the day at a “variety of locations” during multiple protests in the city’s downtown area, according to the Portland Police Department.
The protests came just days after two Portland men were stabbed to death while trying to fend off a man who shouted anti-Muslim insults at two young girls on a light-rail train.
At least three demonstrations occurred across the city on Sunday, including a controversial pro-Donald Trump free speech rally near city hall, which spurred counter protests. The demonstrations drew thousands of participants, according to ABC affiliate KATU-TV.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler had fought to have the federal permit for the Trump Free Speech Rally revoked, saying it could “exacerbate an already difficult situation” and threaten public safety.
At one point, authorities fired pepper balls and flash-bang grenades to clear crowds after protesters threw “a significant amount of projectiles” at police, the department said. Police also seized multiple weapons and other items, including hammers, bricks and chains.
“We have to understand that it’s legitimate that Portland’s shaken up right now,” rally organizer Joey Gibson told a crowd at Terry Schrunk Plaza, located across from the Portland City Hall.
“They did everything they can to keep us out of here because they thought that we’re going to come in here and just ruin the city … and spread out hate speech. … We’ve got to prove them wrong,” he said, according to KATU.
Police said protests at the plaza were mostly peaceful, but a separate protest at Chapman Square “required significant attention from law enforcement.”
The 14 suspects, who ranged from 19- to 64-years-old, are scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
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