Top Democratic Staffer Arrested By Police During Riot In Portland

Posted: Sep 10, 2020 10:00 AM

A top staffer who works for the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives was arrested by the Portland Police Bureau last week during the city's nightly riots.

Kristina Narayan was arrested, along with 58 others, on September 5 and charged with interfering with a Peace Officer, a misdemeanor. Narayan works as a Legislative Director for House Speaker Tina Kotek (D), according to her Linkedin profile. Kotek represents northeast Portland.

Narayan was released without bail.

Kotek had previously criticized the PPB in July for using tear gas to disperse crowds of rioters, saying the police's behavior was "unacceptable."

"It was an unnecessary escalation by the PPB against people exercising their freedom of assembly and freedom of speech," Kotek said. “It showed an utter inability to exercise restraint. Smart policing is when an officer can differentiate a minor provocation from a serious threat. Nothing about this was smart."

The PPB reported the riot where Narayan was arrested at had begun as a march at a park and the crowd made their way to the East Portland Community Policing Center:

"Many in the crowd were carrying large shields (photo) and dressed in protective gear including helmets, gas masks, body armor, and all black clothing. It was clear that the intent of the crowd was not [a] peaceful protest. Therefore officers were positioned in such a way that prevented the march from reaching East Precinct. A police vehicle outfitted with a loudspeaker advised the crowd that, for the safety of city employees and all community members, the march would not be allowed to proceed that direction.

"At about 9:15p.m, as the crowd approached officers, individuals began throwing multiple firebombs at officers. One of them caught a community member on fire. Officers later located the injured person and Portland Fire and Rescue medics offered treatment. The injured person was later taken to a hospital by private vehicle."

The riot where Narayan was arrested at occurred the same night it appeared a thrown Molotov cocktail fell short of hitting Portland police and instead set a protester on fire.