Police Clash With Occupy Protestors As Safety Concerns Rise In The West
Police were met with resistance in many West Coast cities Saturday as attempts were made to close several Occupy encampments in the wake of growing public safety concerns.
In Portland, Oregon protestors were threatened with arrest after the Saturday midnight deadline was not met.
From Oregon Live:
Two Portland police officers were injured -- one suffered a gash to his leg after he was hit by a projectile thrown by the crowd; another was injured by a horse. Police arrested 23-year-old Cameron Matta, who is accused of throwing the object at the officer.
By early Sunday however, all but two people disbanded from the encampments CNN reports.
Mayor Sam Adams of Portland praised the police force for a patient effort in peaceably closing the encampment. Both Lownsdale and Chapman Squares will be temporarily fenced.
Elsewhere, the clash between demonstrators and police were more violent.
"We can no longer tolerate individuals camping on our streets," Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said. Police were on high alert after a the death of one man Thursday night. 19 protestors were arrested as police attempted to close the encampment the Los Angeles Times reported.
Salt Lake City police have made over 90 arrests since early October according to a recent statement released by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. Public safety concerns continue to rise as encampment grow, not only dangerous but, increasingly unsanitary.
A melee involving 30 people on Wednesday night led to four arrests, Becker's office said, and public safety "has become increasingly questionable. Additionally, the amount of human and animal waste, as well as drug paraphernalia, is an escalating public concern."
Though protestors are free to gather at Pioneer Park overnight camping will not be allowed Becker said.
17 people were arrest in Denver Saturday night. Denver place responded to protestors' complaints of trampled First Amendment rights by saying individual rights were supported but it should be done in a law-abiding way.
"We can't afford for people to be injured, tripped, hurt, as they walk through the area," police spokesman Randy Jackson said to CNN.
In California, police have issued a third notice of eviction for the protestors Saturday, this following the death of a man who was shot Friday.
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