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'It would burn through paper': Portland man charged for pointing laser into officer's eyes during protests

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/16/2020 Madison Dibble
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A Portland man was charged with assault for shining a "high-powered laser" into the eyes of a law enforcement officer during a recent protest.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced the charges against Bryan Kelley, 36, on Tuesday. Schmidt hit Kelley with a second-degree assault charge, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer.

The laser used by Kelley "was so powerful that it would burn through paper and cause dry material to catch fire," according to Schmidt. The department also released a video showing the confiscated laser igniting a piece of cardboard. The light injured a member of the Portland Police Bureau Rapid Response Team while protecting City Hall on Aug. 24.

Lasers have been a popular weapon to use against law enforcement during the recent riots in Portland and other cities throughout the country. Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, told Congress last month that at least eight law enforcement officers were targeted and injured by protesters with lasers in Portland.

"We’ve had a number of officers who have dayslong blindness. So far, they’ve all kind of come back, if you will," Cuccinelli said. "You also get what’s called flash blindness. Think of it as the old Kodak cameras where you’d get that blue spot and you can’t quite see your entire field of vision for a period of time."

Lasers have also been used to hinder police helicopters and other aircraft during the protests. A Canadian man was arrested earlier this year for pointing a laser at a federal police helicopter in Detroit during a protest.

Tags: News, Portland, Protests, Law Enforcement, Police, Oregon, Eye Laser

Original Author: Madison Dibble

Original Location: 'It would burn through paper': Portland man charged for pointing laser into officer's eyes during protests

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