SALEM, Ore. — Not yet six months into her job as chief, Jami Resch is stepping down from leading the Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau as George Floyd protests roil the city.
Demonstrators held two peaceful protests in Portland but a third one that lasted until the early hours of Monday resulted in riotous behavior and at least 20 arrests, with some demonstrators throwing objects at police, who fired tear gas and sponge-tipped projectiles, The Tribune reported.
Full beverage containers, glass bottles, hard-boiled eggs and rocks were thrown or fired at officers using sling-shots, police said in a statement Monday. A medic who was working with the officers was hit in the stomach with a rock.
The protest that turned violent happened at the Justice Center in downtown Portland.
Portland Commission Jo Ann Hardesty slammed the recent police response.
“I’m incredibly troubled by the excessive force used nightly by PDX police since the protests began,” she said. “The videos and painful firsthand accounts of community members getting tear gassed and beaten by police for exercising their 1st amendment rights should be concerning for us all.”
Resch on Monday announced that she asked Charlie Lovell, a black lieutenant, to serve as the next chief of police of Oregon’s largest city.
“He’s the exact right person at the exact right moment.,” she said at a news conference.
Resch said she’s stepping down on her own, another major shakeup in the Police Bureau following the sudden departure late last year of former Chief Danielle Outlaw, the bureau’s first African American woman to lead the bureau. Outlaw left to serve as Philadelphia police commissioner, oregonlive.com reported.
She alerted the mayor of her desire about midday on Sunday.
As quickly as Resch was out, Lovell was introduced as Portland’s new chief of police.
Lovell served as Outlaw’s executive assistant. Under Resch, he led a new Community Services Division, that included the Behavioral Health Unit, a community engagement officer, a new homeless community liaison and a new civilian community engagement specialist.