The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced Nov. 5 it will pursue charges against two men from Wednesday night protests, both of whom traveled to Portland from out of state, according to court records.
Prosecutors charged Jarrod DeFerrari, 23, with one count of riot and two counts of criminal mischief. DeFerrari, a resident of Sunrise, Fla., is accused of breaking two windows of local businesses with a hammer, prosecutors say.
DeFerrari initially provided police with an incorrect birthdate and the false name "Candle Moma," according to a probable cause affidavit filed Nov. 5, but law enforcement was able to discern his real identity.
Law enforcement recommended also charging DeFerrari with riot, disorderly conduct, sale/possession of fireworks, burglary and attempted arson. Prosecutors declined to bring those charges.
The DA's office also charged Luke Harrah, 27, with three counts of criminal mischief after he allegedly broke two windows at the Starbucks in Pioneer Courthouse Square, prosecutors say.
Harrah is a resident of Colorado Springs, Colo., according to court records. In an interview with detectives, he described himself as a "traveling protester," prosecutors say, who arrived in Portland a few days ago.
Marches turned destructive Wednesday night when some protesters in downtown Portland smashed windows, including those of the local clothing store Wildfang and of the St. Andre Bessette Church on West Burnside Street. The church's priest told the DA's office on Thursday that it was forced to close its shelter and "halt homeless services for the foreseeable future" because of the damage.
Around 7 pm on Wednesday, the unified police command led by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police declared the downtown protest an unlawful assembly.
Shortly thereafter, following advice from the unified command, Gov. Kate Brown deployed the Oregon National Guard—whose members had been on standby since Monday night—to the streets.
Footage from the evening shows National Guard members driving through downtown in a caravan of Humvees and standing with Portland police officers during a standoff with protesters. After 8 pm, on-the-ground footage shows, police bull-rushed and tackled protesters to the ground, including what appeared to be a legal observer wearing the signature lime-green helmet.
Oregon state police bull rush and push one woman to the ground and tackle another pic.twitter.com/Dpx7j3mXeF— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) November 5, 2020
Despite declaring a riot, law enforcement did not deploy tear gas Wednesday night.
The sheriff's office says a protester named William Kahl Beecher, 23, threw a firework at a group of police officers. Beecher, who was wearing a ballistic vest, carried a loaded rifle, several loaded magazines, a knife and fireworks, the sheriff's office said. The rifle had a sticker on it that read "Dead Tyrant Society."
Sheriff's deputies arrested Beecher and booked him in the Multnomah County Jail after 11 pm on Wednesday on charges of riot, disorderly conduct and possession of a loaded firearm, jail records show.
Beecher, a West Linn resident, posted $900 bail and was released from jail on Thursday, according to court records. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Beecher on any charges and referred his case back to law enforcement for further investigation.
In total, law enforcement referred 13 cases to the DA's office stemming from Wednesday night protests.
Of those 13, five were felonies and eight were misdemeanors. DeFerrari, Harrah and Beecher accounted for three of those felony cases. Prosecutors declined to pursue charges in the other two felony cases and referred them back to the arresting agency for investigative follow-up.
The DA's office declined to pursue the eight misdemeanor cases, either because they did not meet the office's criteria for prosecuting protesters, because they needed investigative follow-up, or because prosecutors didn't receive a police report for the incident.
In a statement issued Thursday, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt condemned the property destruction that occurred Wednesday night.
"What we saw last night—the destruction of property at multiple businesses," Schmidt said, "including at a female-founded and women-run local clothing store, at a church that provides healing and shelter, clothing, food and assistance to homeless individuals and people overcoming substance abuse and addiction, and at a hotel that is committed to the revitalization of Old Town-Chinatown—is unacceptable and criminal."
Gov. Brown, too, decried demonstrators who destroyed property, calling some of them "self-styled anarchist protesters."
"They shattered the windows of a church that feeds Oregonians in need, a women-owned and -operated business that raises money for immigrant and women's rights, and many other storefronts," Brown said Thursday. "Indiscriminate destruction solves nothing. These are acts of privilege."