Portland police are investigating an incident that took place late Sunday involving a man who was assaulted after some witnesses say he attempted to hit protesters with a vehicle.
“The report said protesters were chasing the truck before it crashed, and they assaulted the driver after the crash,” the police bureau said in a press release Monday.
Video posted on social media shows a man sitting in the street downtown outside a white pickup. He’s hit or kicked multiple times by people in a surrounding crowd.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell called the incident “alarming” and said the man was hospitalized. No arrests have been made, police said.
In a statement, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt condemned violence and said his office is also part of the investigation.
”The videos recently posted to social media that show a person being violently pushed to the ground from behind and another person being kicked in the face are extremely concerning,” Schmidt said. “The actions depicted in these videos are universally rejected as wrong — and the actions are illegal.”
Portland police identified the alleged attacker Tuesday as 25-year-old Marquise Lee Love. Police said they have made several attempts to contact Love, but have not been able to reach him. Officers urged the public to not contact Love on their own using information circulating on social media.
Portland officers also dismissed rumors on social media that claimed the victim in the attack was still hospitalized or had died as a result of his injuries.
“These reports are false. The victim has been released from the hospital and is recovering,” police said in a press release.
On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said he was “sickened” by the video circulating on social media that depicts the man being hit several times.
“While the circumstances leading up to this brutal assault are still under state and federal review, I must condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this depraved violence,” Williams said in a statement. “We must all continue to work together to achieve peace in the streets of Portland. If we are not successful, I fear one day soon we will wake up to news that a Portlander has been killed. We cannot let this happen.”
The event has quickly become a prominent example of lawlessness plucked by conservative activists and commentators to condemn the many nights of demonstrations that have taken place in Portland. The city has seen almost three months of nightly protests against racism and police violence.
On Monday night, Joey Gibson briefly appeared at the demonstrations outside the Portland Police Association headquarters. According to video posted by journalist Justin Yua, Gibson showed up briefly to counter protest and criticize protesters for the assault that took place Sunday.
Joey Gibson, founder of far-right group Patriot Prayer arrived to accost protesters about the altercation that left a person badly injured last night. Crowds were angered by his presence, & ejected him from the protest. #PortlandProtests #PDXProtests #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/sh9eWBuUUA— Portland Independent Documentarians (@PDocumentarians) August 18, 2020
Gibson is currently facing felony riot charges for allegedly confronting activists outside the Cider Riot bar on May 1, 2019. The Oregonian reported last week that lawyers for Gibson want those charges dropped after Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced he would be dismissing many charges against protesters arrested during demonstrations for racial justice.