The firm hired to investigate the Portland Police Department’s response to a June anti-racism demonstration is asking the public to provide information about what happened that night.

The city hired Clifton Larson Allen LLP of Minneapolis to do an internal affairs investigation of the department’s response to a demonstration that began on June 1, 2020, and ended early the next morning.

Police used large, fogger-style canisters of pepper spray and air-powered pepper ball guns – similar to paint ball guns – to disperse the crowd, and dozens of officers were clad in riot gear and positioned in a line across Franklin Street next to police headquarters at 109 Middle St.

Some city councilors later asked for an independent review and the city allocated $40,000 for the investigation. A report will be provided to the city in three months.

As part of the investigation, Frank E. Rudewicz of CLA is soliciting feedback from the public “as part of an effort to provide additional avenues of information gathering,” city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said. Rudewicz would prefer to communicate directly with people who have information, but recognizes some may be reluctant to do so and will take information anonymously, she said.

Anyone with information to provide can contact Rudewicz and his team by email at [email protected] or by phone at 617-221-1978. Confidential emails can be sent to [email protected]

The demonstration, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, drew dozens of officers from 18 surrounding communities. After the demonstration, police officials said it was unprecedented in size, with an estimated 2,500 people gathering in downtown streets. The demonstration, like others last summer, began peacefully but became violent later that night and several businesses were burglarized or damaged.

Police have said repeatedly said that many of the demonstrators that evening assembled peacefully and left the area when told to do so, and that it appeared to be a smaller element in the crowd that desired conflict. More than 20 people were arrested that night, mostly for failing to disperse. The charges were later dropped.

City officials have said the goal of the investigation is to ensure the integrity of the department was maintained throughout its response to the demonstration.

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