PORTLAND (AP) — A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland, Oregon, this week, smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least $500,000 in damage.
But police officers didn’t stop them.
Portland Police Bureau officials say that’s because legislation passed by Oregon lawmakers this year restricts the tools they can use as people vandalize buildings and cause mayhem.
The measure prohibits the use of things like pepper spray and rubber bullets for crowd control.
However there are exceptions, and lawmakers say police should still be able to use the tools they need to quell riots.
Portland has seen ongoing, often violent protests since the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.