September 4, 2020
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that 36-year-old Bryan M. Kelley is being charged with felony assault after he allegedly used a high-powered laser as a weapon to shine its beam into the eyes of a sergeant assigned to the Portland Police Bureau during a mass demonstration outside city hall.
Kelley is charged with one count of assault in the second degree, one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer.
This investigation started during a mass demonstration on August 25 that continued into the morning of August 26, 2020. The Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team responded to a demonstration that targeted Portland City Hall. The protestors broke into and started vandalizing the building.
While attempting to clear the streets and clear out city hall, police declared an unlawful assembly.
The victim, a PPB sergeant, saw Kelley on multiple occasions aiming a blue laser into the eyes of officers, according to court documents.
Furthermore, the victim reported that Kelley’s laser hit him in the eyes several times and that he had to look away due to the intensity of the laser, court documents state.
When police arrested Kelley, they located a blue laser in his back pocket, court documents state.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office requested additional follow up to determine the strength of the laser and the extent of the victim’s injury. Law enforcement found the laser was so powerful that it would burn through paper and cause dry material to catch fire, according to court documents.
Additionally, the PPB sergeant reported he had problems with his eye after being hit by the laser and that because of the laser his eyes were impaired.
As stated in court documents: Kelley, after being read his Miranda Rights, admitted that when he bought the laser it was advertised as a “burning blue laser,” and admitted he knew that the laser could damage an eye.
“When a laser pointer is used as a weapon, as alleged in this case, we will continue to take appropriate legal action. I want to thank the Portland Police Bureau for working with my office to further investigate these allegations. We remain committed to supporting peaceful demonstrations but when individuals divert and engage in violence against police officers or anyone else, we are here to hold them accountable,” said District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time.
A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Kelley is innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office