BEND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon prosecutor said Thursday he will file charges against seven people who were involved in violent clashes during dueling political events at a park in Bend earlier this month.
Those facing prosecution include people from both sides of the political spectrum. Bend police had recommended charges against 15 people, but Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel declined to charge more than half of them.
The district attorney also released 200 pages of police reports related to the case after police Chief Mike Krantz took the unusual step last week of publicly releasing his department’s charging recommendations.
The charges resulted from an Oct. 3 confrontation between racial justice demonstrators and President Donald Trump supporters at Pilot Butte Neighborhood Park. Police said a man broke a $20 Trump flag off a truck and a brawl ensued.
Hummel faulted the organizer of the Trump rally for moving the event closer to a previously planned picnic hosted by racial justice groups. That decision was “provocative, ill-advised, and was the precipitating act that resulted in … an awful day in Bend,” Hummel wrote in a statement.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that those facing prosecution include two men caught on video punching people; a man seen pointing a gun; a woman shown macing the man after he put the gun away; and two women recorded hitting officers in the aftermath of a brawl.
Hummel declined proposed charges against people who sprayed mace to break up the fighting or defend themselves. He also did not charge people who used their bodies to block a police cruiser from leaving the scene or those who piled on top of a woman to stop officers from moving her out of the way.
Racial justice activists who blocked traffic outside police headquarters the day after the incident also were not charged.