Editor’s note: this article was originally based on this tweet thread from July 9th 2020. Since then, we have learned that the Portland Police’s press releases were riddled with errors, and with new research tools available, we are in the middle of recompiling the data using court records. This process is more time consuming, but once it is done, it will allow more accurate representation of the charges and the processes being used against these protesters.
When looking at individual types of crimes, the top five were as follows:
- 162.247 Interfering with a peace officer (Misdemeanor A) – 254
- 166.025 Disorderly II (Misdemeanor B) – 128
- 166.015 Riot (Felony C) – 51
- 162.315 – Resisting Arrest (Misdemeanor A) – 33
- Curfew -33
So now that we see what the biggest drivers of charges are, let’s look at the when.
At the core, it’s essentially anytime you keep a cop from doing his job. That charge comes in spikes.
Almost every time I see this charge used, it’s with or in place of Interfering with a Peace Officer, and is one of the ‘offenses against public order’ charges.
Laying them on top of each other (IPO in orange) makes it clearer how much overlap there is.
Third up is Riot, an offense against public order, and the one most often cited as what’s wrong with this protest (along with looting, which doesn’t even make the top 5). This chart shows it is highly centered around the first two nights of protests, with a second spike the night the protesters marched on the Portland Police Association headquarters and the police responded with a huge presence and gassed an entire neighborhood (something we still haven’t heard the last of yet) (Editor’s note:
Since the data is only current in this article as of the 8th of July, we expect to see an uptick in riot charges in the days going forward. The reason is two-fold. In the Don’t Shoot PDX v. City of Portland
federal case, a temporary restraining order limits use of tear gas to threats to public safety. Additionally, on June 30th, Gov. Brown signed House Bill 4208
which restricted the use of tear gas to instances of riot. Within hours of that law being signed, police declared a riot against peaceful protesters outside the Portland Police Association’s offices (the Police Union). This matches the uptick that night on the following chart)
Number 4 on the list is resisting arrest. This is really any kind of ‘active resistance’ to being arrested, no matter the provocation. Get kicked in the nethers, or have an injury that causes you to struggle? That’s where this charge can come from.
Combined with the Interfering with a Peace Officer and Disorderly 2 charges earlier, you can see where arrests naturally drive resisting arrest numbers. Which also means one person, just in the act of getting arrested, could get three charges stemming from the same alleged crime.
Curfew – Violation of a city Executive Order