A key Democratic staffer was among dozens arrested over the weekend in a series of protests-turned-riots marking the 101st day of unrest in Portland, Oregon, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
“The police arrested Kristina Narayan, who is legislative director for the top Democrat in Oregon’s House of Representatives, along with 58 others during a riot that began Saturday night and continued into Sunday morning, according to a Portland Police Bureau report,” the Free Beacon notes. “Narayan has worked for House Speaker Tina Kotek since 2016.”
Kotek, according to her statements on social media, has been generally supportive of the ongoing protests in Portland, tweeting back on September 1st that the demonstrations were the result of ongoing “tensions.” She acknowledges that many of the protests have devolved into riots, but seems to blame “provocateurs” who “are looking for a fight and advancing a white supremacist ideology” for inciting destruction and violence in Portland’s downtown and residential neighborhoods.
She also says she believes in “holding individuals accountable” for destructive behavior. In her statement following the death of Aaron Danielson, a Trump-supporter and counter-protester shot by a self-described supporter of “Antifa,” she does suggest holding police officers accountable for “confrontational and violent crowd control tactics.”
— Tina Kotek (@TinaKotek) September 1, 2020
Narayan, one of her top aides, was arrested for “Interfering with a Peace Officer,” according to Fox News, citing a Portland Police report.
“Kristina Narayan was arrested for Interfering with a Police Officer after the event became a riot and the crowd was given multiple orders to disperse, which she did not do,” the Portland Police reportedly told the outlet.
“Kotek’s office did not respond to a request for comment,” according to the Free Beacon, though her September 1st message does note, presciently, that the charge of “Interfering with a peace officer” is “overused.”
Narayan was among 58 individuals arrested over the weekend in demonstrations marking the 100th day of unrest in Portland, Oregon — demonstrations that inevitably turned violent according to a report from the Portland police. Many of those arrested came armed with incendiary devices.
“Multiple firebombs, mortars, rocks, and other items were thrown at law enforcement during a riot Saturday night in Southeast Portland,” Fox News noted.
“Dozens of officers arrived to block the march at Stark Street near 113th Avenue around 9:20 p.m,” Oregon Live noted about the Saturday demonstrations.
“Some people reacted by throwing Molotov cocktail-like devices toward the police lines. Another person lit a firework. The devices exploded in Stark Street, several feet away from the police line. But one person was injured after their shoes and pants caught fire,” the outlet continued, referencing a now-viral video of a Portland protester being set alight by a Molotov cocktail and then attended to by Portland police officers who moved in to put out the fire.
The Free Beacon notes that more than 150 calls for police aid went unanswered as officers tried to control the riot.