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UPDATE: Federal agents used tear gas to disperse crowds, but Mayor Ted Wheeler says it was not used by local police.

COURTESY SEAN BASCOM - Federal agents deployed tear gas while dispersing a crowd during a protest on Friday, Sept. 18. Protesters gathered in South Portland on Friday night to resume demonstrations after a nearly two-week hiatus due to the hazardous air quality created by nearby wildfires.

Eleven people were arrested, including one from Florida and another from Washington. Those arrested range in age from 20 to 42 and all face disorderly conduct charges. Others face charges including interfering with a peace officer, assaulting an officer, unlawful use of a weapon, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property.

The demonstration was near the ICE facility, which brought the Federal Protective Service into the scene.

Mayor Ted Wheeler confirmed that tear gas was not used by Portland Police Bureau officers to disperse the crowd. He has banned its use during protests. Tear gas was deployed by federal agents, however.

"The Portland Police complied with the ban on tear gas while still providing mutual aid," Wheeler said. "I call on everyone in our community to step up and end the violence and to focus on advancing racial justice," Wheeler said.

PPB TWITTER - The Portland Police Bureau warns of the use of crowd control agents, including tear gas, and later reissues a tweet without the tear gas phrasing. Portland police first made note of the gathering via Twitter at 9:45 p.m., stating that a gathering had formed in the South Waterfront area, which blocked streets near South Moody Avenue and South Bancroft Street. Immediately after, police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly.

Demonstrators were warned that if they did not disperse north, they could be subjected to a number of actions, including arrest and crowd control munitions.

The Portland Police Bureau initially tweeted tear gas on the list of crowd control agents. That tweet was deleted, and later reissued without the mention of tear gas.

On Sept. 10, Mayor Ted Wheeler ordered the Portland Police Bureau to stop using CS gas for crowd control during protests after more than 100 consecutive days of demonstrations in the city.

Wheeler, who also is the police commissioner, said "effective immediately and until further notice, I am directing the Portland Police to end the use of CS gas for crowd control."

KOIN 6 News reached out to the bureau to ask about Friday night's tweet and whether officers were allowed to use tear gas. Sgt. Kevin Allen responded with, "No, we are required by law to make that warning. PPB is still prevented from using tear gas."

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.


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