2022 News in Review

Portland Wrapped, 2022

A data-driven look back at the year's top news stories.

Portland Police News 2022

The Mercury's top police stories from the past year.

Portland Health News 2022

The Mercury's top health stories from the past year.

Top Stories of 2022

Mercury news stories published in 2022 that attracted the most views.

Portland Transportation News 2022

The Mercury's top transportation stories from the past year.

Portland Housing News 2022

The Mercury's top housing stories of the past year.

Portland Politics News 2022

The Mercury's top politics stories from the past year.

Looking Ahead 2022

Top stories to keep an eye on in 2023.

Portland Environment News 2022

The Mercury's top environment stories from the past year.

Portland Criminal Justice News 2022

The Mercury's top criminal justice stories from the past year.

One out of three members of Patriot Prayer were convicted on riot charges for their involvement in a May 1, 2019, street brawl. 

In July, a jury found Mackenzie Lewis, a member of far-right group Patriot Prayer, guilty of engaging in a riot during a May Day brawl with anti-fascists in 2019. The decision came after a somewhat unusual trial, which began with three defendants all facing riot charges: Lewis, Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, and another Patriot Prayer member Russell Shultz. The county judge acquitted both Gibson and Schultz halfway through the trial, accepting their lawyers' arguments that their clients’ actions didn’t fit the definition of “riot.” Yet Lewis’ lawyer wasn’t able to win over the judge, sending the decision to the jury. Lewis was ultimately sentenced to three days in jail—and three years’ probation—for his charges. 

The city of Portland paid $622,501 in settlements to protesters injured by police during the 2020 racial justice protests.

A total of 15 individuals—plus one nonprofit—received a combined $622,501 in payouts from the city of Portland to resolve numerous lawsuits against Portland’s police officers for officers’ actions during the 2020 protests. The lawsuits come from individuals who were burned by officer grenades, pepper sprayed by police, beaten and kicked by officers, and emotionally traumatized by the way law enforcement mismanaged large crowds of people protesting police violence. 

The final settlement of the year, which pledged $250,001 to five Portlanders and the organization Don’t Shoot Portland, was perhaps the most noteworthy because it came with a promise from the city to permanently get rid of its collection of "flash-bang" grenades that have injured numerous people in recent years. 

A  jury directed the city to pay $40,272 to a Portlander injured by a Portland police officer at a 2020 protest. 

One lawsuit against the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) for its 2020 protests response didn’t end in a settlement. A lawsuit against the PPB landed in court in October, where a jury found the bureau liable for battery and unreasonable force in an incident that left a protest attendee with a broken arm and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

The trial centered on Erin Wenzel, a care coordinator at Oregon Health and Science University who attended a racial justice protest as a volunteer medic in August 2020. An unidentified police officer broke Wenzel’s arm and shoved her head into the cement during a point of escalation in the protest, although Wenzel had not done anything illegal. The jury ordered the city to pay Wenzel $40,000 for her injuries, setting the stage for similar cases on the horizon in 2023. 

Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt introduced a program to assign 8 prosecutors to work closely with community groups and police officers to solve crime. 

Halfway though 2022, DA Schmidt secured funded from the county to hire eight new district prosecutors to build relationships with community groups—along with police—in order to more swiftly and effectively address neighborhood crime. Some of Schmidt's progressive supporters, though, raised concerns that the program was wrongly framing criminal prosecution as a form of social service, and might further eradicated trust between the public and law enforcement. It's too early to determine what impact that program, which began to roll out in the end of 2022, has had on communities and crime rates.