Republican governor candidate says Portland rally attacked
Sandy Mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Stan Pulliam has said he and his supporters were attacked by protesters during a campaign rally in downtown Portland on Saturday, April 30.
A pair of videos posted on Pulliam's campaign website appears to show a group in all black and waving black flags approaching his rally at Chapman Square. One video shows someone in the group appears to throw a smoke grenade at Pulliam and his supporters that emits purple smoke. Another video shows members of the group pounding on a campaign bus with people apparently inside it.
None of the videos show the beginning of the rally or what Pulliam or anyone else had been saying there. Pulliam is running from the far right and has been accused of anti-LGBTQ+ bias. He was one of four leading Republican candidates for Oregon governor who participated in a television debate hosted by KOIN 6 and the Pamplin Media Group, parent company of the Portland Tribune. At that forum, he claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen, despite an unprecedented number of state and county recounts, and dismissed lawsuits, proving it wasn't.
Pulliam issued a statement Saturday that said he and his supporters had been attacked by "antifa," the term for self-declared, left-wing, anti-fascist activists who frequently attend protests dressed all in black and wearing masks. The statement said the group threw flash bangs, eggs, feces and paint at the rally.
"Portland doesn't belong to Antifa," Pulliam said in the statement. "We showed up today because we know Portlanders are tired of the mass homelessness and lawlessness on the streets. Today just proved how much we need someone in charge who will lockup Antifa for good."
In a second Saturday statement, Pulliam said, if elected governor, he will "end Antifa's control of Portland for good" by tripling the size of the Oregon State Police, deputizing a portion of them as U.S. marshals to charge antifa and other violent criminals with federal crime, defund antifa by stopping all state public and rental assistance to anyone convicted of rioting, and launching investigations into public servants who have been covering up for and ignoring the violence, including Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
Pulliam said his supporters — who were just outside the Justice Center where Central Precinct is housed — called 911 for help when the group approached them, but no officers showed up for 20 minutes. Even then, Pulliam said the police did not arrest anyone.
The Portland Police Bureau issued a press release apparently related to the incident on Saturday. It said that at 12:03 p.m. on Saturday, one group assaulted another group using fireworks in downtown Portland, causing injuries to two people, and arson investigators are asking for public assistance.
The press release reads: "On Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 12:03 p.m., Central Precinct officers were notified of a group throwing items such (as) a smoke grenade at another group in the area of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street. A sergeant began monitoring the situation and gathering information, although only a few officers available in the precinct. Updated information was that paint and larger fireworks were being thrown, and significant explosions were heard in the area."
According to the police, the sergeant requested the callers to drive away to meet officers at another location in an attempt to deescalate the situation and allow officers to investigate. The group was able to drive away and meet with officers nearby. They learned that two people had been hurt by mortars. One adult male had an injury to the hand, an adult female complained of hearing loss. The injured victims planned to seek medical care on their own and were not transported.
Once more officers were available, police set up a crime scene at the location of the incident. Police and Portland Fire & Rescue arson investigators responded to the scene. The suspects had left the scene, police said, and no immediate arrests were made. There was also evidence that balloons filled with paint and/or other substances were thrown at people and vehicles. The investigation is continuing.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story.
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