Protest, clashes at Oregon State Capitol end with single arrest

Oregon State Police said that it arrested one man after opposing groups clashed during a protest outside of the Capitol building in Salem.

Posted: Jan 6, 2021 4:39 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2021 4:43 PM

SALEM, Ore. — While a pro-Trump crowd stormed the nation's capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, a smaller-scale protest took place at the Oregon Capitol building in Salem.

Oregon State Police reported that it was monitoring the Salem protest alongside Salem Police and the Marion County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday.

Around 2 p.m., a group of counter-protesters arrived at the Capitol to confront the pro-Trump gathering. Oregon State Police said that a fight broke out between the two sides.

"Law Enforcement members quickly separated the two groups and worked to keep the two groups separate for the remainder of the day," OSP said.

Police arrested 43-year-old David Willis of Lincoln County during the event on charges for Harassment and Disorderly Conduct. The investigation is ongoing, OSP said, and more charges may come through after police consult with the Marion County District Attorney's office.

Despite repeated scuffles, Salem Police said that "no force" was needed to keep the two groups separated once officers responded. 

"Traffic flow is returning to normal as the streets are opening up again," the agency said on Wednesday afternoon. "The crowds at the Oregon State Capitol have diminished greatly. Oregon State Police is no longer in need of enforcement assistance. We are grateful to the public who followed warnings to stay away from the affected areas as doing so allowed officers to effectively address the evolving situation."

This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.

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