Multnomah DA charges 128 for Portland protest crimes
Following months of unrest, the Multnomah County District Attorney is pursuing charges in 128 cases — about 13% of the 974 total arrests referred to his office by local police.
The defendants are charged with felonies in 95 cases and misdemeanors in 33 cases, according to a new public data dashboard on the DA's website.
According to Schmidt, another 182 cases are pending review and 543 cases were "rejected in the interest of justice."
Another 44 cases were rejected due to "insufficient evidence," 12 were rejected due to a "legal impediment" and 67 require further investigative follow-up by police, the DA states. The total number of rejected cases is 666.
In general, legal problems that preclude prosecution include "constitutional violations, suppression of evidence due to an unlawful search or seizure, lack of venue, recent legislative or case law changes or double jeopardy," according to the dashboard.
DA Schmidt, who was elected earlier this year, called the public release of the data a "major step forward."
"Transparency in the work we do is a keystone to my administration," he said in a release. "Moving this data online for the community to easily use will have a significant impact on understanding cases that arise from mass demonstrations."
He continued: "I promised during my campaign that I would take a smarter approach to justice. That work continues with the launch of this dashboard. I am committed to launching future dashboards and other public facing programs that will support data-driven and transparent decision-making."
Some of the cases include multiple charges, but the total breakdown for charges is: 10 arson/burning charges, seven drug crimes, 166 person crimes, 125 property crimes, 902 public disorder crimes, 23 vehicle crimes and 27 weapon-related crimes.
The data stretches from Oct. 5 to May 29 — the night when thousands of protesters gathered downtown and set the county jail alight. Demonstrations have continued for months, though current nightly crowds are much smaller — as little as 50 or so people or perhaps a few hundred at most.
According to the dashboard, 77% of those who were arrested are white, 10% are Black and 6% are Hispanic. About 67% of arrestees are male.
"The dashboard does not conduct any disparity analysis," according to a news release. "Demographics may not be representative of county population due to over- or under-representation of demographic groups at mass demonstration events."
Officials will update the dashboard each week. Some 38% of the arrestees are between the ages of 18 and 25, and another 45% are aged 26 to 35. Juvenile arrest information is not included.
Counting arrests by federal agents, there have been more than 1,000 total arrests at Portland protests.
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