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Portland police declare riot during anti-police demonstration

Graffiti on Portland bus stop amid anti-police protest, declared a riot Friday night
Portland Police Bureau
Graffiti on Portland bus stop amid anti-police protest, declared a riot Friday night

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Portland police declared a riot Friday night after people started smashing windows on Northwest 23rd Avenue during a planned anti-police demonstration. 

KGW reported that people gathered at Couch Park on Northwest 20th and Hoyt, then began marching in the streets and blocking traffic shortly after 9 p.m., the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) tweeted. 

By 9:30 p.m., the crowd had moved to Northwest 23rd Avenue, a popular shopping street, and began smashing windows of a Starbucks. 

Within 10 minutes, police declared a riot in the area of Northwest 23rd and Hoyt and started directing people to leave the area. They warned that anyone committing crimes was subject to arrest and the use of force, including tear gas and impact munitions. 

At 9:50 p.m., police said the crowd was heading east into a neighborhood. Follow PPB's Twitter account for updates. 

Portland police later tweeted there had been one arrest for crimes committed during the riot. They said the rioters "appear to have wandered away from Northwest Portland. Officers are patrolling the area."

Police were aware of the demonstration before it happened and sent out a press release warning of the possibility of criminal activity. 

This is the third night of unrest in Northwest Portland since former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death on Tuesday, April 20. 

Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency following Tuesday's verdict to prepare for the possibility of violence or destruction in the city. On Friday, the state of emergency was extended through the weekend. 

Portland’s mayor and acting police chief are urging the public to safely stand up to the black bloc group of demonstrators who continue to plan events that generally end with broken windows, fires and other vandalism.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports both said Friday they believe residents are tired of seeing the threats and destruction by a small group of “self-described anarchists.”

Wheeler extended a state of emergency in the city and directed police to arrest people engaged in crimes if they can do so safely to prevent and limit destruction. He also asked residents to share with police the license plates of people who drive to the events.

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