Salem police arrest one man at Planned Parenthood protest

A 35-year old Salem man was arrested during a protest at Planned Parenthood on Aug. 10. 

Clifford Philip Eiffler Rodriquez was arrested on charges of second-degree disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer and harassment, Salem police said in a news release.

The protest included a group called the Church at Planned Parenthood, which has held regular Tuesday evening services outside the health clinic for months protesting abortion. 

A counter demonstration was planned for Tuesday evening to “support accessible reproductive healthcare and counter reactionary extremism,” according to a post Rodriguez shared on Facebook.

Salem police released an advisory ahead of the planned event, noting that a similar protest had turned violent in July, with multiple Proud Boys attacking a counter demonstrator.

According to a police department press release and video posted on social media, two groups on opposite sides of the issue attended Tuesday’s event with some wearing gas masks and carrying shields, paintball guns and firearms. 

The event, police say, remained peaceful for approximately two hours before a verbal altercation between two individuals broke out around 8:15 p.m. That altercation, police say, turned violent with both sides using chemical irritants and smoke fireworks against the other. 

The Salem Police Department Mobile Response Team was deployed in response to disperse the crowd. According to police, Rodriquez allegedly shoved an officer. Rodriquez was transported to the hospital for medical evaluation before being lodged at the Marion County Correctional Facility.

“As with every incident of this type,” a statement from Salem Police said, “the Salem Police Department will be conducting follow-up on incidents of criminal behavior not previously reported or investigated.” 

Any individuals present who was a victim of or witness to a crime is asked to file a report with the department.

-Caitlyn May