Mayor monitors anti-police brutality protest

Mayor monitors anti-police brutality protest

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Mayor Charlie Hales found himself in the middle of a protest about police brutality Friday night.

A few dozen people made their way from Holladay Park to downtown as part of an International Day Against Police Brutality.

Hales said he was observing the protest in person to learn how police officers respond to protests.

The group of protesters wore bandanas, hurled profanities and insults at the media and police officers.

About 50 people weaved their way through the streets of Northeast and downtown Portland for more than two hours. They yelled, chanted and at one point they barked like dogs.

Hales said, just as the protesters have the right to free speech, the community has the right to stay safe through the help of police officers.

"The police bureau has to calibrate a response. People have a First Amendment right to say whatever they want to say and walk down the sidewalks of the city and say it," he said. "So they have to calibrate their response to what people are doing and whether they're breaking the law. This group is not breaking the law so the police bureau is monitoring them and standing by.

According to organizers, this international protest against police brutality began 16 years ago in Switzerland.