A Portland man has been indicted by a grand jury for an attack on a police officer using a high powered laser during protests last month.
36-year old Bryan Kelley allegedly pointed a laser into an officer's eyes that so powerful it can cause permanent blindness, and possibly strong enough to burn through clothing and protective equipment.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt described the laser as "so powerful that it would burn through paper and cause dry material to catch fire."
The Portland Police department went so far as to post a video to YouTube demonstrating the laser's power in action. The device is seen in the demonstration burning holes in a thick piece of cardboard in a mere couple seconds.
The attack occurred on Aug.25 after police responded to Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters breaking into the Portland City Hall in order to destroy and vandalize the building and its civic offices.
Detectives later confirmed the laser could be used as an extremely dangerous weapon which can cause blindness:
Detectives later tested the laser by pointing it at a piece of cardboard, which caused the cardboard to burn. Such lasers can be purchased online and are usually accompanied by warnings about harm they can cause, especially to the eyes.
"Members of the Portland Police Bureau Rapid Response Team (RRT) responded to City Hall to restore order," the Portland Police Bureau said in an earlier statement .
"At least one member of RRT realized that Mr. Kelley had repeatedly directed a laser into the RRT member's eyes, causing injury," the statement described.
Portland Police arrested Bryan Michael Kelley, 36. He's accused of using a powerful laser to injure the eyes of cops last month at an #antifa riot. He's charged w/class B felony assault, felony unlawful use of a weapon & more. His bail is $257k. https://t.co/XLPVKKBSXN pic.twitter.com/tzzp1yjive— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) September 9, 2020
The recovered laser is remarkably compact for being so powerful, appearing in evidence photos to be no longer than an iPhone.
The man was arrested that night and went to jail, with bail later set at $257,500.
Social media demonstrations in addition to reports from Portland detectives confirmed the particular laser model's strength, which appears far and above that of typical laser pens and classroom pointers.
It can reportedly burn paper up to a quarter-mile away and can cause injury or even blindness if pointed directly into the eye in for as little as one-eighth of a second.
Portland Antifa are using these lasers at Law Enforcement ..😡 pic.twitter.com/kltvld6od5— 🇺🇸🦅M💥A💥G💥A🦅🇺🇲 (@BlessUSA45) September 7, 2020
A Fox News report referenced recent Department of Homeland Security testimony before the Senate saying that multiple federal agents have lately been "temporarily blinded" by lasers being used by Portland protesters and rioters.
As advertised online, these high-powered compact lasers are sold with protective equipment for use and with strong warnings against pointing them at humans.
Police in Portland attempt to put out fire on station canopy as Antifa points green lasers at their eyes. pic.twitter.com/otGpzjXiSa— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 24, 2020
Over the course of months of unrest in Portland and other parts of the northwest, laser devices have been frequently used by rioters and demonstrators against police and first responders.