Posted: 2002-08-24 00:00
Portland police had a Quick Response Team that had been sent to position to block the main group of protestors and to beef up the police that had been spotted for crowd control. The police that had been spotted were not just from Portland but were from outlying town as well. The communication control was not good.
A problem came up when people that were trying to get into the hotel for the dinner couldn't get through the crowds and the police tried to open a path by punching throw the crowd with a police car and trying to reposition barriers between the crowd and the opening made by the car.
Several protesters jumped on the car and started to jump up and down on the cruiser. Right now nobody knows who did it, but one of the spotted cops fired a rubber bullet or several at the guys on the car. One of the car jumpers was knocked down.
While this was going on the cops that had tried to reset the barriers were separated from the main body of police by the crowd and the police car.
The Quick Response Team pushed through the crowed to get to the isolated police, while the police that had been spotted broke position to form a group. With the lose of position the QRT lose their orientation and moved away from the police at the barriers and moved to the points were people had been moving away from the spotted cops.
Since the QRT thought they were moving toward their own people but meeting the resistance of people that were moving away from the scene rather than to it, the QRT pulled out the pepper spay to create a defensable zone were they could move through the crowed to get to cops they thought were in trouble. They were in fact moving away from the barrier cops.
Now while all this was going on Secret Service were trying to block the main entrance to the hotel while the people that had come through the crowd who were going to the dinner were stopped. This left a pattern of the hotel, the Secrity Service, the dinner guest, a thin line of cops, more of the crowd that had been sprayed, more of the riot cops, and people that where going the wrong way to get away from the riot cops because they where heading into the barrier cops. The barrier cops now had a flying platton of cops come in from the other flank with riot gear.
The cops with the riot gear started to gas and fire rubber bullets, and beanbag rounds from 12 guage shootguns.
Nobody died. That is the single good point.
The police did the job that they were trained to do but the crowd didn't do what the cops are trained to belive a crowd does. The crowd lost themsleves because they had no idea were they could go after the pepper spraying, and most the time they were heading into a group of cops. The Secret Service had to stay in position because they can't change position without orders. No oders were given because the communications were tied up with trying to get guest tnto the hotel.
This is based on all I could read about the so called riot. The cops are ashamed of what they did, the crowed is angry because they think the cops over reacted, the city government looks foolish, and some cop in the group may have started it all by firing a gun without orders.
Bush made money and had a good meal.