Supporters of the Proud Boys, a far-right “Western chauvinist” group that has been associated with white nationalist rhetoric, held a rally that attracted hundreds to a Portland park Saturday afternoon, raising the specter of a similar event that ended fatally last month.

The group flashed weapons and vented threats but failed to bring in the thousands of supporters from around the country that they predicted would show up. The event broke up after only 90 minutes – significantly less than the hours of rallying that were initially planned.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) declared a state of emergency ahead of the arrival of the Proud Boys, which has earned a reputation for politically motivated violence. State police and the county sheriff’s office dispatched to patrol highways and look out for people coming to town to “cause trouble,Brown said.

A similar event culminated last month with the fatal shooting of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, whose name has become a rallying cry for far-right activists — as has Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people during demonstrations in Kenosha, Wis.

Black Lives Matter supporters and far-left activists gathered in a larger rally Saturday at a Portland park three miles away, where speakers condemned white supremacists and conservative politicians while many in the vast crowd donned black clothing and body armor.

Other cities nationwide held protests this weekend after a grand jury on Wednesday declined to indict three Louisville police officers on homicide charges in the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.

September 27, 2020 at 4:26 AM EDT
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28 people arrested in Louisville protests Saturday night, police say

By Meryl Kornfield

At least two dozen people were arrested in Louisville after the 9 p.m. citywide curfew Saturday, Louisville police said, including “several" arrests made for vandalism at two schools.

When the curfew was announced and directions were given for protesters to disperse from Jefferson Square Park, people split: some left, while others gathered plywood shields and items that could be used as weapons, according to the statement by LMPD spokesperson Sgt. Lamont Washington.

Many protesters took shelter from police in the First Unitarian Church. Just before midnight, a small group left the church, and began causing destruction, left and setting the shields on fire in front of the church, Washington wrote.

The group smashed windows and sprayed graffiti at Spalding University and Presentation Academy, Washington wrote.

A police helicopter captured footage of people setting a car aflame in the Spalding parking lot with fireworks.

The FBI announced it was investigating the fire.

September 27, 2020 at 3:33 AM EDT
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Video shows NYPD officers rushing toward people on crowded sidewalk

By Meryl Kornfield

Steps from people out for dinner Saturday night in the West Village, New York police officers rushed a crowd, detaining a dozen people on various charges in a video shared widely online.

In the video, viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter, a PA announcement instructing pedestrians to clear the street can be heard as people gathered on the corner of 10th and Hudson. Among those on the sidewalk are diners and people walking by. A group demonstrating in Washington Square Park had also marched to the corner near the NYPD’s 6th precinct to seize back their belongings after officers reportedly raided their art protest, according to NBC 4.

Within seconds, a flock of officers moved in toward the crowd. Some diners pull out their phones to record the scuffle.

Many of the people standing on the corner were “rubbernecking,” watching the mass of officers gathered, according to Molly Dillon, who tweeted she was there with her friends in dresses and heels, leaving a small wedding.

“I didn’t hear any protest chants or see people in the middle of the street,” she told The Post. “It really seemed to me it was New Yorkers who happened to be there and were filming the truly incredible number of cops.”

Twelve people were taken into custody at that location, NPYD spokesperson Detective Christopher Pisano told The Post. Eight people were given a summons for disorderly conduct and four were arrested for varied charges, including resisting arrest, obstructing a government employee and attempting to assault a police officer.

Pisano said he had no other information about what unfolded before the video that led officers to rush the crowd.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman tweeted that his office was in contact with NPYD over the “use of force" Saturday night.

“But we’re exhausted of seeing video after video, and hearing from constituents in person, of inexplicable escalations that undermine an already fragile trust," the Democratic lawmaker wrote.

September 27, 2020 at 1:32 AM EDT
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Seven arrested amid standoff with Seattle police and protesters

By Meryl Kornfield

Seattle Police arrested at least seven people for charges related to property damage and assault Saturday night, blaming protesters for smashed storefronts and graffiti around the city that spelled out anti-police sentiments.

“Protestors have wound their way through the city causing damage along the way,” the police department tweeted, sharing pictures of red graffiti that read “Amazon” on the Seattle City Hall sign and shattered glass doors at the Columbia Center.

Police said officers gave orders to disperse twice, as people set fire to dumpsters, trash cans and furniture in the streets of downtown Seattle.

At one point, a person on a motorcycle blocked firefighters from accessing a fire, according to police.

Tensions between police dressed in riot gear and protesters flared amid standoffs. Some demonstrators yelled at officers who were not wearing face masks.

“No cops, no prison, full abolition,” a group chanted shortly before a phalanx of officers rushed toward them and burning dumpsters barricading the protesters, according to a live stream. Police detained several people while others rushed away.

September 27, 2020 at 12:30 AM EDT
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‘Why did we leave?’: Some protesters in Louisville dismayed at dispersal

By Derek Hawkins

Protesters voiced disappointment Saturday night after a plan to remain in Jefferson Square Park in defiance of a 9 p.m. curfew was abruptly called off, causing confusion and disagreement within the crowd.

“What happened in the square tonight was unacceptable,” organizer Delaney Haley told a group of about 100 who took refuge at the First Unitarian Church after curfew took effect.

“We look like the biggest joke right now because we are not resisting like Portland, like Atlanta,” she shouted into a megaphone. “Why did we leave?”

The plan to stay in the park seemed to come together haphazardly around 8:30 p.m. Organizers said the weekend crowd had grown large enough that police would have trouble making mass arrests.

“See all these people? Where you gonna put us?” organizer Chris Wells said.

People who were not willing to stay and face a police crackdown were told to leave. Many did. As the crowd thinned, organizers started to doubt they had a critical mass of people. The sit-in was soon aborted.

With curfew looming, protesters fled to the church, tailed by a convoy of squad cars and armored vehicles. Dozens remained there late into the night, eating snacks passed out by church leaders and chanting Breonna Taylor’s name in the parking lot.

September 26, 2020 at 11:18 PM EDT
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Two people hospitalized after car struck them at protest, officials say

By Hannah Knowles

Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday in Yorba Linda, Calif., after being struck by a car amid dueling protests, according to authorities.

Their injuries are not life-threatening, said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The driver of the car was detained and is being interviewed, she said, adding that the person’s intentions are not yet clear.

A crowd marching against police violence and racism was outnumbered Saturday afternoon in Yorba Linda by about 100 counterprotesters, Braun said. She said authorities soon got reports of “physical altercations” between members of the two groups, including one in which someone was pepper-sprayed.

Law enforcement officers ordered people to disperse at that point, Braun said. Not long after, she said, they got another report about possible assault with a deadly weapon.

Video posted to Instagram captures screams and chaos as a car drives through the crowd. People pursue the car, and officials also approach then chase the vehicle as it pulls away. Eventually, the car stops.

It was “a clear attempt to leave the scene,” Braun said.

Cars have hit people at protests in many cities in recent months, sowing fear among demonstrators with what prosecutors have sometimes called deliberate acts.

Thursday night, in Hollywood, a protester struck by a car was also taken to the hospital, according to Los Angeles police. Their injuries were minor.

Police said Friday that they are still investigating the incident. They described two vehicles that got involved in “altercations” with members of a crowd and said the cars struck a person and another vehicle while trying to leave the area.

September 26, 2020 at 10:26 PM EDT
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The scene as the Proud Boys protest in Portland

By Washington Post Staff

While the crowd was far smaller than anticipated, here are some of the Trump supporters and members of the far-right group Proud Boys who rallied on Saturday.

September 26, 2020 at 10:09 PM EDT
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Officials are working to release redacted files on Taylor’s death, Louisville mayor says

By Hannah Knowles

Authorities are in the process of redacting parts of their internal investigation files on Breonna Taylor’s death before releasing them and hope to provide an update on that process next week, the mayor of Louisville said Saturday.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) said earlier in the week that the city wants to “get as much of this information out as soon as we can” while avoiding interference with ongoing investigations. News organizations have been arguing for months that police should share documents from their review of officers’ actions the night they fatally shot Taylor in her home in March while executing a warrant. That review led to one officer’s firing.

Calls for authorities tor release more information grew this week after a grand jury declined to charge anyone in Taylor’s death, instead indicting the fired officer for endangering her neighbors. Politicians, activists and lawyers for Taylor’s family are also urging the Kentucky attorney general to release a transcript from grand jury proceedings.

Speaking Saturday at a news conference with the mayor, police acknowledged that some body camera footage from the night of Taylor’s death was leaked and said it was from officers who responded to the scene, rather than those involved in the shooting.

Louisville interim police chief Robert Schroeder declined to comment further, citing ongoing investigations.

Schroeder defended police’s use of flash-bangs at Friday’s protests. He said officers used the devices in an attempt to get the attention of people who apparently did not hear their orders to disperse. He said some people were blocking a street.

Community leaders said the use of flash-bangs at a march led by Taylor’s family — long before curfew — showed a lack of good faith from police.

Officials will evaluate Sunday whether to extend the curfew in Louisville, the mayor said.

September 26, 2020 at 9:49 PM EDT
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Weapons confiscated, but no ‘serious violence’ in Portland, officials say

By Hannah Knowles

Officers confiscated firearms, paintball guns, baseball bats and shields from a pickup truck leaving the Portland park where right-wing demonstrators gathered Saturday.

The truck was stopped over an obscured license plate, Chris Liedle, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, said in a video posted to social media. Liedle said one criminal citation was issued but did not provide more details.

Local and state leaders as well as residents had feared that Saturday’s show of force from the Proud Boys would escalate into violent clashes.

But the Proud Boys’ rally at Delta Park was far smaller than expected, and neither that gathering nor others in North Portland on Saturday led to “serious violence,” Liedle said.

Portland police said they are investigating an assault at Delta Park against someone who was documenting the events; video retweeted by police showed a man kicking and then throwing an object toward another person before stumbling.

Officials thanked demonstrators for an otherwise peaceful day.

“May that continue throughout the evening,” Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell tweeted Saturday night.

September 26, 2020 at 8:01 PM EDT
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Louisville churches open doors to protesters ahead of demonstrations

By Derek Hawkins

LOUISVILLE — As protesters got ready to march through downtown, Lawrence Robertson, a local minister and organizer, stood on the periphery of Jefferson Square Park greeting the activists.

His hope for tonight, he said, was for police to keep their distance.

“We pray for the best and prepare for the worst. Because that’s what they give us, their worst,” he said.

A tense encounter with officers Friday was still fresh in his mind: Police in riot gear had fired flash-bang grenades at protesters during a peaceful march led by Breonna Taylor’s family and held hours before curfew took effect. Sgt. Lamont Washington, a Louisville police spokesman, said Saturday that two rounds of flash-bang grenades were fired to “get the crowd’s attention” after protesters failed to heed officers’ directions to move to sidewalks to allow traffic to pass. Two people were arrested, he said.

Robertson, 33, said he helped evacuate women and children from the scene. The situation settled after about 10 minutes, he said.

“It’s the police that instigate riots,” he said. “And yesterday was a clear example of that.”

Not far away, a Louisville church opened its doors to allow protesters to take refuge for the night.

As marchers passed the Christ Church Cathedral on S. 2nd Street, Dean Matthew Bradley stood near the gates telling protesters they could stay until curfew lifted in the morning.

“We believe that sacred spaces should be safe spaces,” Bradley said. “Given that we’ve got folks out here protesting for racial justice, we want to open our doors to create that space for them.”

In the courtyard, protesters helped themselves to bottles of water and Gatorade. Fresh fruit, peanut butter sandwiches and first-aid equipment were offered inside.

Bradley said the church was following the lead of the First Unitarian Church across town, the site of an anxious standoff between police and protesters on Thursday. Police encircled the church when the protesters took sanctuary there, preventing them from leaving for about two hours while they said they investigated an arson nearby. That church said it would remain open to protesters on Saturday.

September 26, 2020 at 6:02 PM EDT
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Portland counter-protesters assemble for rally in grassy park: ‘There’s so much at stake’

By Abigail Hauslohner

PORTLAND, Ore. — About three miles south of the Proud Boys rally in North Portland, Ore., which began disbanding by midafternoon, hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists and other leftist counterprotesters gathered at Peninsula Park, a scenic expanse of grass featuring a rose garden, for what was billed as a community event featuring arts and crafts.

Organizers had erected a stage under a large gazebo, and loudspeakers broadcast activists’ condemnations of public officials, white supremacists and various conservative policies. Many protesters wore black, and some donned helmets and body armor.

About a dozen tented booths were lined up along the side, some selling Black Lives Matter merchandise and others offering water, first aid or the opportunity to sign petitions for defunding the police.

Later, the sound system began playing techno dance music, and some participants posed for photos with a llama named Ceasar, which has been a regular at Portland’s protests.

While President Trump’s name was ubiquitous at the Proud Boys rally, the name of his opponent in the upcoming presidential election, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, was nowhere to be seen at Peninsula Park. Demonstrators at both rallies spoke of resentment and mistrust of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D).

Jackie, 53, who declined to give her last name because she works for the state, said she plans to vote in November — she wore a face mask with the word “vote” printed on it — but she was less sure about her fellow protest-goers.

“I thought twice about wearing this, because I’m not sure that people feel that voting is going to make a difference,” she said of the mask. “I believe it will. I think there’s so much at stake … But there are lots of people here who believe that we need to abolish the police, and that’s not something that Biden is saying or local officials are saying.”

September 26, 2020 at 5:02 PM EDT
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At Proud Boys rally, fears of efforts to ‘steal the election’ from Trump

By Tim Craig

PORTLAND, Ore. — Richard LeRoy, 63, said he showed up at the Proud Boys rally here because he believes the group will be a decisive force in supporting President Trump, should the country “slide into anarchy” in January.

It was his first Proud Boy event. But LeRoy, a retired factory worker, said he decided he needed to seek out the group because he believes it will fight to keep Trump in power if the election results are disputed.

LeRoy said he learned of the Proud Boys, a far-right “Western chauvinist” group, after seeing recent news coverage of them confronting liberal groups.

“I’m a Trump supporter, but I am here supporting the Proud Boys because they are standing up against antifa and Black Lives Matter groups, who I believe are Marxist,” LeRoy said.

LeRoy, who was wearing a Trump T-shirt and carrying a Trump flag, said he is increasingly worried Democrats will “steal the election with voter fraud or vote by mail.” Trump has made similar claims.

“In January 2020, I think the country could descend into some form of anarchy, and that brings some of us out to support the Proud Boys, to make our voices heard, ” LeRoy said. “There is a lot of talk of people saying, ‘If it gets bad, you are going to have to choose a side.'"

“Well, I am choosing a side,” LeRoy added. “The Proud Boys have been standing up for American values. ”

September 26, 2020 at 4:46 PM EDT
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Demonstrators begin to gather in Louisville for another day of protest

By Derek Hawkins

LOUISVILLE — Downtown Louisville was quiet Saturday afternoon as protesters prepared for another day of marches and speeches honoring Breonna Taylor.

The weekend was expected to draw larger crowds than earlier in the week, with demonstrators and counterprotesters coming in from out of state.

For the moment, however, the scene was subdued in Jefferson Square Park, the site of months-long rallies in Taylor’s name. Bob Marley played on a loudspeaker, and a couple of dozen protesters mingled on the lawn.

Marquis Lampkins and Durrell Ford made the six-hour drive from Pittsburgh to join the action planned later Saturday. They said they had watched with disgust earlier in the week as Kentucky’s attorney general announced that police officers would not be charged in Taylor’s killing.

“At what point do you let Black people know that Black lives really matter — just a little bit?” said Lampkins, a 40-year-old mother of four. “I came down to stand with them because I feel their pain.”

“I’m tired of it,” Ford said. “It could have been my niece. They keep screwing us.”

Nearby, local activists from a group called Breonna’s Roots were harvesting a garden that protesters planted in dirt beds in the park earlier in the summer. They packed grocery bags with tomatoes, peppers and potatoes to donate to an organization that serves the city’s West End.

Their next step, they said: Plant onions, garlic and ornamental kale as the season changes and the protests enter a new phase.

Downtown businesses and government buildings remained boarded up. Orange municipal trucks and concrete barriers blocked nearly every intersection, with police and National Guard troops staging close by.

Outside a Marriott hotel, doorman Jean Francois, 28, watched his colleague clean the driveway with a leaf blower. He said he supported the protests but worried about rioting.

“They might wait until tonight because there are more people available,” he said. “The rioters are cowards at heart. They want to make trouble, but they hide in the peaceful crowds.”

September 26, 2020 at 4:31 PM EDT
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Proud Boys rally launches with prayer, calls to fight ‘anarchists’

By Abigail Hauslohner and Scott Wilson

PORTLAND, Ore. — A couple hundred Proud Boys knelt in Delta Park for a prayer to Jesus to mark the start of their rally Saturday. “Reveal your purpose to us,” a man said into a microphone, addressing God from the flatbed of a truck parked on the grass.

Tented tables in the parking lot hawked Trump merchandise, and rally attendees carried American flags and thin-blue-line flags to show support for police. As a U.S. flag was raised over the truck, an electric-guitar rendition of the national anthem blared through loudspeakers and a thick cloud of yellow smoke was released.

“Stand up to anyone who tries to f--- with us,” a man said through the microphone, before the crowd shouted out the Pledge of Allegiance. A woman who identified herself as Carol told the crowd that she represented Oregon women for Trump.

“This is a war that we have got to fight back. I don’t know about you, but I have had enough from all these punks, evildoers,” she said. Portland’s leaders, she added, had “handed anarchists the key to the city."

In the crowd was a 63-year-old man wearing a mask that bore only the word “peace.” In his hand, he held a polished wood baton the size of a small bat.

“I’m old, and I need something to protect myself,” said Karl, who declined to give his last name because he said he does not trust the media. “And I hate all of this hate that is coming from the left.”

It was the third Proud Boys rally for Karl, a retired factory worker who lives in a Portland suburb. He said he voted for Democrats until choosing George W. Bush in 2004, believing it was important to support a wartime president. Karl said he voted for Trump in 2016 and intends to again in November.

“All of us here are standing up against BLM and antifa, and it’s not about race. I have a mixed family, but this is about stopping Marxist Leninism,” Karl said. “If America falls to communism, the world falls."

September 26, 2020 at 3:57 PM EDT
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Rochester appoints first female police chief following death of Daniel Prude in police custody

By Karin Brulliard

Rochester, N.Y., Mayor Lovely A. Warren on Saturday appointed an interim police chief, the latest step in a broad overhaul of the city’s embattled police department following weeks of protests over the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died in police custody while having a mental health crisis.

Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan, a former Rochester police lieutenant, will take control of the force Oct. 14, one month after Warren fired La’Ron Singletary. Other high-ranking police officials have also left their positions amid public outcry.

Prude, who was detained and then hooded and pinned to the ground by police on March 23, died a week later. An internal investigation concluded that police commanders and city officials did not take his death seriously enough and may have sought to mislead the public.

Warren, who has faced calls to resign from both the city’s police union and Black Lives Matter activists, said in a statement that Herriott-Sullivan — the first woman to serve as Rochester’s police chief — will “bring a different perspective and instill a fresh approach to policing, which are very much needed in our city at this particular time.”