Riot Declared in Portland 08/09 10:28
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A fire inside a police union building led authorities
in Portland, Oregon, to declare a riot and force protesters away from the
offices as violent demonstrations continue in the city that had hoped for calm
after federal agents withdrew more than a week ago.
Three officers were hurt, including two who were taken to a hospital, during
efforts to clear a crowd of several hundred people outside the Portland Police
Association building late Saturday, police said in a statement. The two
hospitalized officers have since been released.
Rallies had been held earlier in the afternoon and evening throughout the
city, including at Peninsula, Laurelhurst and Berrydale parks, local media
Police said a group from Peninsula Park marched to the Portland Police
Association building, which is located about 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of
the federal courthouse that had been the target of nightly violence earlier
this summer. The Portland Police Association is a labor union that represents
members of the Portland Police Bureau.
A group of demonstrators broke into the building, set the fire and were
adding to it when officers made the riot declaration just after 11:30 p.m.,
police said. Video shot by a journalist, and surveillance video from inside the
building obtained by the police department, shows smoke and flames arising from
inside the building.
Officers formed a line and used flash bangs and smoke canisters to force the
protest several blocks away. Demonstrators congregated at Kenton Park, where
they were again ordered to disperse. Most of the crowd had left by 2 a.m.,
The gatherings this week had been noticeably smaller than the crowds of
thousands who turned out nightly for about two weeks in July to protest the
presence of U.S. agents sent by the Trump administration to protect the federal
This week's clashes have, however, amped up tensions after an agreement
between state and federal officials seemed to offer a brief reprieve.
Police arrested 24 people during demonstrations overnight Friday after they
said people defied orders to disperse and threw rocks, frozen or hard-boiled
eggs and commercial-grade fireworks at officers. An unlawful assembly was
declared outside the Penumbra Kelly public safety building.
Most of those arrested were from Portland, while one man was from Oakland,
California, and another was from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Most were in their 20s or
30s. The charges included assault on an officer, interfering with an officer,
disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
An Oregon State Police trooper was struck in the head by a large rock and
suffered a head injury, police said. The trooper's condition was not
Some demonstrators filled pool noodles with nails and placed them in the
road, causing extensive damage to a patrol vehicle, police said. Oregon State
Police worked with Portland officers to clear the protesters.
Since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, protests over racial injustice
and police brutality have occurred nightly for more than 70 days.
Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler said violent protesters are also serving as
political "props" for President Donald Trump in a divisive election season
where the president is hammering on a law-and-order message. Trump has called
the protesters as "sick and dangerous anarchists" running wild in the city's
Tear gas was used by police on protesters Wednesday for the first time since
the U.S. agents pulled back their presence in the city. But officers did not
use it Thursday or Friday despite declaring the demonstrations unlawful
assemblies. Police said tear gas wasn't used Saturday.