Chief Skinner: No arrests made during Eugene riot

Skinner said police have “good video” of the protests and will launch an investigation to prosecute the those who committed crimes.

Posted: May 30, 2020 11:13 AM
Updated: May 31, 2020 3:02 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner told reporters Saturday no arrests were made during a protest in Eugene that left businesses throughout downtown vandalized and caused multiple reports of injuries.

“We didn’t want anybody hurt, and we knew if we made an arrest it could possibly turn into a multiple use of force situation which has a tendency to feed a crowd like that. So, we didn’t make any arrests,” Skinner said.

RELATED: CLEANUP BEGINS AFTER RIOTERS DESTROY EUGENE BUSINESSES

Several hundred people gathered near Washington Street and Seventh Avenue around 10 p.m. By 1 a.m., Starbucks, Jimmy Johns, Five Guys, and T-Mobile were all destroyed. A fire briefly broke out inside the Starbucks but was put out by other protesters.

Skinner said police have “good video” of the protests and will launch an investigation to prosecute those who committed crimes.

“Last night I think was a combination of a lot of anger. What started out as a free speech movement that had a really good message to it, turned very violent and became a criminal movement,” Skinner said.

Skinner said the tone of the protest changed when some in the protest began attacking businesses and burning public and private property in the street.

“We took a really light touch to this, knowing that our presence would just aggravate matters worse,” Skinner said.  

Skinner said the protest took police by surprise, as an organized protest had been scheduled for Sunday. Skinner said police will be prepared if protesters take to the streets again.

“We don’t want to be heavy handed. We want to make sure that we keep enough space for people to be heard when they’re doing it peacefully and thoughtfully,” Skinner said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 133851

Reported Deaths: 1803
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28467459
Washington18734171
Marion16247239
Clackamas11698138
Lane8353109
Jackson693085
Umatilla679368
Deschutes499936
Yamhill319045
Malheur313552
Linn311646
Polk245540
Klamath242838
Josephine174333
Benton170514
Jefferson170525
Douglas168743
Union111416
Wasco108123
Columbia104918
Lincoln99617
Hood River95421
Coos93815
Morrow93810
Clatsop6865
Crook62110
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00
Eugene
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 44°
Corvallis
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 39°
Roseburg
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 42°
North Bend
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 47°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events