Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Protesters commemorating activists' deaths damaged downtown Portland windows, and graffiti adorns it

Protesters commemorating activists' deaths damaged downtown Portland windows, and graffiti adorns it

At the end of a gathering commemorating the anniversary of the death of an activist, dozens of protesters broke windows and left graffiti scrawled on downtown Portland buildings Tuesday night.

According to social media posts from the demonstration, police declared the event an unlawful assembly after some people lit fires in the street and set off fireworks, though it was unclear whether any arrests were made. Police did not immediately respond to requests from The Oregonian/OregonLive on Wednesday morning.

The vandalism, primarily near Southwest Alder Street and 2nd Avenue, occurred at the end of the memorial.

By Wednesday morning, large glass fragments from the shattered door of the Moda Tower, 601 S.W. 2nd Ave., were still covering the sidewalk. Breaking windows is good was written in spray paint on a nearby wall.

There were large holes in the glass windows of Smile Direct Club, 121 S.W. Morrison St., and the front windows, doors, as well as a glass fixture above the entrance to Bank of America were shattered. Crews were clearing the glass about 7:30 a.m.

Sean Kealiher, an activist who went by the name Armenio Lewis, was among those who attended to commemorate his two-year anniversary of his death. Kealiher was found dead on Oct. 12, 2019, near the now defunct Cider Riot, a popular hangout for Portlands far-left activist circles.

According to lawyers representing a friend of Kealihers who was there that night, the 23-year-old activist got into an argument with dozens of strangers after leaving the bar.

After the heated exchange, the strangers piled into a Ford SUV parked nearby and began to drive off. According to the defense, the SUV made a U-turn and hit the gas, crashing into Kealiher. The car then crashed into the Democratic headquarters and stalled out on the sidewalk before the driver restarted the vehicle, revved its engine, and attempted to reverse, according to the lawyers.

One of Kealihers friends took out a legally concealed handgun and fired at the Ford, according to the lawyers, because he believed the driver was going to back up over Kealher, who was lying in the street.

According to police, some of the bullets hit the SUV.

The driver and passengers sprang out of the vehicle and fled on foot, according to police, Kealiher was taken to a nearby hospital by his friends, but he died.

Kealihers death has not been investigated, despite claims from his mother, Laura Kealher, that police have a better understanding of the motives, according to he podcast from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The Oregonian/OregonLive -- The ORiAN/ORegonlive --The Oregon/ OregonLive

You may also like: