Today at around 2:30pm in downtown Portland on 4th Avenue between Morrison and Alder St, I witnessed an arrest made by undercover Portland police. As I was walking north along 4th Avenue, two people (one sturdy white man and one blonde white woman, both mid-to-late-thirties) walking slightly ahead of me were acting a bit suspiciously: both had walkie-talkies on and appeared bulky in their clothing. All of a sudden these two people both rushed across Morrison Street toward a man walking north as well. Four other people rushed in opposite directions toward the man and shoved him to the ground in no time. They immediately began to undo their outer shirts, revealing T-shirts with "Portland Police" emblazoned across the chest and back. They were saying, "You're under arrest, don't move!" The man being arrested (white, late thirties, wearing a T-shirt with the word "BOSS" on the front") did not resist but lay prone on the sidewalk as they put handcuffs on him. The undercover police looked around and regrouped, discussing the situation as someone continued to lay against the man pinning to the ground. This last for around 5 minutes or so. Finally the stood the man up.
At this point I walked past the group and questioned the nearest man, a white male, late thirties to early forties, with short-cropped brown hair. I asked him, "Hey what's going on here?" to which he replied a tad aggressively, "It's none of your business, move along."
I told him it looked like they were police and being a citizen I felt I had a right to know what they were arresting this man for. Again: "We made an arrest. That's all. Keep moving." The man was quite intimidating at this point, obviously wanting me to go along my way without care for what I had seen.
However, I took a look at the arrested man, who had been pulled up by this point. He was bleeding what looked like a minor to medium head injury. His right arm was skinned where it scraped the pavement. The officer holding him nudged the man and said, "He's fine. Tell him you're fine." The handcuffed man assented and said, "Yeah I'm fine" although he looked anything but. I held this officer's gaze for a moment not saying anything but obviously incredulous at this.
Unfortunately I can't remember if I said anything after that but I was still so shocked and unsure how to proceed I walked away. I didn't get any badge numbers or ID numbers and the officers were again only wearing the navy blue T-shirts that read "Portland Police" on them. They headed back the way I had just been walking, south along 4th Avenue (I'd assume back towards the Police headquarters near City Hall).
I'm sorry to say I don't have any further information than this. But from what I saw the arrested man had definitely not been resisting or even aware of the officer's presence. He was wearing a backpack though. I just was disturbed by how violent the methodology of this arrest was. Granted, I have no further info to judge if he was considered dangerous or the like and so warranted such an immediately dominating tackle by officers, but with six police officers on one man (who didn't look particularly strong or dangerous), to the untrained and un-knowledgeable bystander, I would guess they would have been able to arrest him without bloodshed.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Blood was spilled. I took a picture with my cellphone (apologies for the quality). You can see though it wasn't just a minor wound. He was definitely bleeding pretty good.
Any other info people may have, or if you saw the incident, would be great. I'm just reporting what I saw today.