Charges against 14 people arrested at Salem protests dropped

SALEM — Criminal charges against 14 people arrested after protests in Salem have been dismissed, prosecutors said Monday.

Salem Police Department arrested the people on charges of riot and interfering with a peace officer on May 31 and June 1, the Statesman Journal reported.

Many of those arrested said they were peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and police brutality and were unable to leave quickly after police began enforcing a citywide curfew.

The protests marked the first time the city instituted a curfew and used tear gas on residents.

“These arrests for causing public alarm and/or disobeying lawful police orders were supported by probable cause and necessary to maintain public safety,” said Marion County Deputy District Attorney Amy Queen. “After reviewing the full police reports it was determined that continued involvement by the criminal justice system would not serve the interests of justice, therefore, these cases have been dismissed.”

Multnomah County District Attorney-elect Mike Schmidt has also said he will consider dropping charges against nonviolent demonstrators once in office later this summer.

— The Associated Press

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