Portland, OR – The Portland police are accused of refusing to intervene as citizens and members of the media were attacked by antifa during the city’s May Day festivities (video below).
Journalist Andy Ngo told FOX News that he was attacked several times early in the day when he was trying to film the May 1 protests at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office.
“Yesterday’s event was supposed to be a celebration of diversity and workers’ rights,” Ngo explained. “But in reality, it was a celebration of Marxism, communism and political violence. Antifa had mobilized outside the ICE office in an unlawful protest where they shut down streets in a critical area near a hospital and it was there that they targeted my camera equipment and then I was punched in the abdomen.”
So the journalist went to ask for help from nearby Portland Police Bureau officers.
“I immediately alerted the Portland police officer who was standing yards away and he let me know that if they stepped in to intervene that would be an escalation and that could incite the crowd so he was going — he couldn’t do anything and if I wanted to I could file a police report later,” Ngo told FOX News.
Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sergeant Brad Yakots told Blue Lives Matter on Wednesday that it is not the police department’s policy for officers to refuse to intervene in the interest of de-escalation.
Then antifa members gathered at the Cider Riot bar for an after-hours event, and when the right-wing Patriot Prayer group showed up to protest, there was an altercation that turned into a riot.
That’s when Ngo was assaulted yet again by masked antifa.
“Later on that day, there was a brawl/riot outside of the Cider Riot Bar in Portland and it was there that I was singled out and targeted by a masked individual who sprayed me nearly point blank in the face with bear mace and blinded me,” Ngo told FOX News.
“Fortunately, a woman who I have no idea who she is, but she led me across the street because I could not see,” he continued.
“And I was only there as a journalist. I was harassed and attacked all day. When the riot happened, the police were nowhere in sight,” Ngo complained.
A second journalist was attacked and had his equipment damaged during the fight in front of Cider Riot.
Oregon State University student Noah Bucchi told KPTV that he was filming a documentary about the long-standing feud between antifa and Patriot Prayer when he was attacked and his camera was damaged.
Bucchi, who has no affiliation with either group, said that when he finished interviewing some Patriot Prayer demonstrators, he tried to talk to antifa.
“They were very antagonistic toward me because they had seen me with Patriot Prayer,” he explained.
Bucchi said antifa activists were suddenly pushing up against him.
“A guy comes from my right. Hits my camera with a club,” he said.
The student said the attacker broke a $100 camera lens, and then fled into the bar.
Bucchi tried to follow his assailant into Cider Riot but he was stopped at the door by the owner and several antifa.
He said the owner wouldn’t let him go into the bar to look for his attackers.
Bucchi told KPTV that he was punched in the face several times during the incident, but he was prevented from fighting back by other antifa.
“As soon as I punched him, five people grabbed me, pulled me to the ground," he said.
The student said police were nowhere to be found during or after the riot, but he did file a police report afterwards and is hoping that somebody caught video of him being attacked, KPTV reported.
Portland police were accused of letting antifa take over the city back in October of 2018, when protesters shut down intersections while police stood by and did nothing to stop them.
When Blue Lives Matter asked the Portland Police Bureau about their response in October, the answer was vague.
"The Police Bureau respects the rights of community members to practice their First Amendment Right to free speech as well the desire of community members to remain safe while traveling and living in the area where free speech events occur," Portland Police Department Public Information Officer Sergeant Chris Burley said at the time.
"During demonstrations, assemblies and free speech events, the Police Bureau assesses the impact the event has on the safety of the participants and Portland community members," Sgt. Burley continued. "There are often times a multitude of factors to take into account.”
The Portland police put out a press release after the most recent melee at Cider Riot that both acknowledged something had happened and also denied there had been any problems worthy of a police report.
“As officers arrived, the two groups had separated. Officers contacted both groups and no one self-identified as a victim or wanted to make a police report,” the press release said.
But when Blue Lives Matter contacted the Portland Police Bureau, they admitted there were some victims after all.
“We are investigating criminal allegations made that pertained to May Day events,” Sgt. Yakots told Blue Lives Matter in an email.
You can see video from the incident below. Warning - Graphic Content: