Charges filed following September 23 riot in downtown Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt is providing the community with an update following an unlawful assembly and riot that occurred in downtown on September 23, 2020.

During the night of September 23rd, multiple Molotov cocktails were thrown at police. One exploded near the intersection of Southwest 2nd Avenue and Southwest Main Street. The resulting explosion caused a Portland Police officer’s boot to catch fire. Law enforcement continues to conduct investigative follow up to determine exactly who threw the Molotov cocktail from this incident.

The facts, as alleged in court documents, follows the list of charges for each defendant.

Joseph Sipe, 23, is being charged with one count of riot and one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device. It is alleged that law enforcement saw Sipe light the wick of a Molotov cocktail and then throw the object near the intersection of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street. Sipe later admitted during a police interview that he lit a Molotov cocktail and threw the device behind a line of uniformed police officers as they moved along Southwest Main Street.

Cyan Bass, 21, is charged with one count of riot, two counts of arson in the first degree, one count of attempted assault in the first degree, one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device, one count of attempted assault of a public safety officer and one count of unlawful use of a weapon. It is alleged that law enforcement observed Bass squirt a substance onto the main doors of the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct and then set them on fire. Law enforcement also observed Bass squirting an accelerant onto a boarded up section of PPB’s Central Precinct’s north-facing façade, igniting the accelerant and thereby causing a fire. Finally, law enforcement witnessed Bass holding an object with a wick, lighting the object on fire and then throwing the flaming object toward uniformed police officers. The device did not explode.

Calvin Jackson, 19, is charged with one count of felony riot and one count of criminal mischief in the second degree. It is alleged that law enforcement observed Jackson throwing rocks at the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct windows and thereby causing damage. During a police interview, Jackson admitted that he witnessed other people throwing rocks towards police headquarters, admitted to doing so himself and acknowledged that one of the rocks he threw broke the window. During the investigation law enforcement learned someone else brought the rocks in a backpack and dropped them on the ground, which is when people started picking up rocks and throwing them.

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. Sipe, Bass and Jackson are innocent unless and until proven guilty.