According to the Oregon State Police and multiple media reports, a group of armed protesters broke windows and stormed the capitol while the state legislature was in session on Monday. Legislators were debating Covid-19 restrictions and related public assistance in closed session. The only people permitted inside the building were members of the Salem Police Department and the Oregon State Police as well as lawmakers, staff and reporters.
The protesters, many with flak jackets, military helmets and some carrying long guns with multiple clips, entered the capitol building at about 8:30 am in the morning. According to Salem PD, “at least one of the protesters used chemical agents on the police…OSP [Oregon State Police] used inert pepper ball, while dealing with these protestors.”
At 10:30 police had gathered in sufficient numbers to push the crowd out of the building. It was then that “another individual used bear spray against police officers,” according to an OSP statement. “He was arrested on multiple charges including trespassing and assaulting a police officer.
Later in the day, the protesters returned and tried to gain entry again, kicking in glass entryway doors, before police again repelled them.
Those assembled also attacked a photographer for the Salem Statesman General. One is heard on video telling the photographer, “I’m gonna f*ck you up,” as the journalist leaves.