One of the "peaceful protesters" in Portland that U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) defended in an insane tweet this week is under indictment for pointing a laser into the eyes of a Portland Police officer during a peaceful protest last month.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced the indictment Tuesday. Media reports say 36-year-old Bryan Kelley was charged with assault in the second degree, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer. Schmidt says the laser "was so powerful that it would burn through paper and cause dry material to catch fire."

Police say the incident occurred on August 25 when peaceful protesters broke into Portland City Hall and began ransacking the place.

Fox News reported the Department of Homeland Security said there have been at least eight incidents where peaceful protesters have targeted law enforcement officers and aircraft with lasers. According to Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, "multiple federal officers were temporarily blinded by lasers during the Portland protests."

In a tweet on Monday, Senator Markey said police officers in Portland, Oregon, "routinely attack peaceful protesters with brute force." Markey went on to insist, "We must disarm these officers."

Markey's words were misleading at best. He suggested that police in Portland were provoking violent confrontations for no good reason. Markey's comments are disrespectful and demeaning to all law enforcement officials and their families.

Markey should be honest with the people of Massachusetts about what is happening in Portland and why he defends violent anarchists over the police. His political rhetoric is callous and dangerous.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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