City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty this afternoon joined in the criticism of Portland Police Bureau actions at a massive student climate march on Sept. 20.
Hardesty echoed the sentiments expressed earlier to WW by the Urban League's President and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson.
The police bureau issued a statement after the march on Friday night, saying the arrest of one of the student marchers followed police requests for them to get back on the sidewalk.
"After numerous requests, orders, and warnings that he would be arrested, the marcher still refused to get down," the statement says. "He was observed leaning out into the traffic lane causing vehicle drivers to abruptly apply their brakes. Officers were concerned about the extremely unsafe circumstance and saw arrest as the only option."
A spokesman for Mayor Ted Wheeler said the mayor would reserve comment until he has more information about the incident.
Hardesty said what she's seen in videos is disturbing.
"Every encounter with the public is an opportunity to show community trust, yet this is how these officers chose to interact with children peacefully engaging in direct action," Hardesty said. "I am so proud to have witnessed the power of our youth at last Friday's Global Climate Strike and it's unfortunate that the conduct of Portland Police officers during the protest—rather than the amazing show of power and resolve our youth showed that day—is what we are now talking about."