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Citizens Enter the Capitol
Police use tear gas, violence to quell the mostly peaceful protest

As the Oregon Legislature convened a one-day special session, crowds of citizens entered the Capitol building as the morning organizational session concluded. Oregon State Police responded with pepper spray, riot gear and SWAT vehicles, barking instructions at protestors through bull horns. Two arrests were made.

There were no injuries reported and a report of a small amount of damage to an internal door on the first floor. One woman was detained by the State Police when she attempted to enter the Capitol through an open window.

The Oregon State Police issued the following statement:

On December 21, 2020 around 8:30 A.M. during the third special session protesters where able to gain access to the Oregon State Capitol. The Oregon State Capitol is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Oregon State Police and Salem Police were able to get everyone out of the building. Two individuals refused to leave the building and where taken into custody.

The Oregon State Police encourage people to exercise their first amendment rights, but it must be lawfully. Please, discontinue the acts of vandalism or destruction of property. If you commit a crime you will be subject to arrest.

Legislative deliberations are required to be open to the public, according to Article IV, Section 14 of the Oregon Constitution:

Section 14. Deliberations to be open; rules to implement requirement. The deliberations of each house, of committees of each house or joint committees and of committees of the whole, shall be open. Each house shall adopt rules to implement the requirement of this section and the houses jointly shall adopt rules to implement the requirements of this section in any joint activity that the two houses may undertake.

Early in the afternoon, the State Police put out another statement:

While dealing with individuals that had gained entry into the Oregon State Capitol, OSP Troopers where sprayed with some kind of chemical agent on two different occasions.

At 8:30am, when protesters entered that capitol building, at least one of the protesters used chemical agents on the police. That person is still outstanding. OSP used inert pepper ball, while dealing with these protestors.

At 10:30am, when there were enough resources available between OSP and Salem Police Department, they started to push the crowd out of the building, when another individual used bear spray against police officers. That person, who has been identified as Ryan Lyles, has been taken into custody. He is being lodged at Marion County Jail on multiple charges including trespassing and assaulting a police officer.

OSP has not deployed any CS gas.

Many noted that the police response was disproportionately harsh in light of the police response to protestors in Portland during the summer in which public property was targeted and police officers' lives were purposely threatened.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-12-21 07:30:19Last Update: 2020-12-21 13:35:50

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