Newburyport man arrested, charged with assault on Black Lives Matter protester

PHOTO FROM VIDEO. Newburyport police arrest a man in Market Square Friday night and later charged him with assault and battery and disorderly conduct. 

NEWBURYPORT – A local man faces charges of disorderly conduct and assault and battery after his arrest Friday evening in Market Square during a Black Lives Matter protest. 

Donn Pollard, 63, of Fruit Street, is accused of attacking one of the roughly 25 protesters in Market Square. 

His arrest, at 6:51 p.m., was caught on video and posted on social media, including Facebook and YouTube. During the video, protesters accused Pollard of stealing a sign and then using it as a weapon against a protester. 

Newburyport police Officer Kevin Martin, who was working a detail in Market Square, made the arrest along with Officer Ryan Cutter. Other officers involved included Michael Falite, Shawn Eaton and Sgt. William Steeves. 

The roughly 80-second video also shows protesters screaming at Martin, accusing him of disregarding his duty. It also shows Martin and another officer handcuffing Pollard and leading him toward a cruiser. 

Black Lives Matter protests have become a familiar sight in Market Square in recent weeks following the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis and Atlanta. Their deaths sparked nationwide outrage and have led to calls to defund or disband police departments, ban the Confederate flag and remove Confederate and other statues. 

Dave Rogers is a staff reporter with the Newburyport Daily News. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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