PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters broke into a building, set it on fire and started dumpster fires late Saturday night in Portland, police said, as demonstrations that have been taking place since the death of George Floyd intensified for another night.
The fire at the Portland Police Association building was put out a short time later, Portland police said on Twitter. The department declared the gathering a riot, and began working to clear the downtown area.
Tear gas was deployed, according to pictures and video from the scene. Fencing that had been placed around federal courthouse had also been removed by protesters and made into barricades, police tweeted.
Earlier, militarized federal agents deployed by the president to Portland fired tear gas against protesters again late Friday night as the city's mayor demanded that the agents be removed and as the state's attorney general vowed to seek a restraining order against them.
Federal agents, some wearing camouflage and some wearing dark Homeland Security uniforms, used tear gas at least twice to break up crowds late Friday night.
Protests against systemic racism and police brutality have been a nightly feature in deeply liberal Portland since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd on May 25.
President Donald Trump has decried the disorder, helping make the clashes between police and demonstrators a national focus.
Read more at: https://apnews.com/f273a11675373e10630e657383c915be
Portland Police Bureau news releases:
Portland Police Bureau encourages peaceful demonstrations - and update from last night
Portland Police Bureau - 07/18/20 3:36 PM
The Portland Police Bureau is committed to supporting peaceful protests and demonstrations. Portland Police have remained inside or clear of the area around the Justice Center unless people commit criminal acts and plan to continue to deploy in that manner to allow lawful assembly and peaceful protest.
Today, Portland Police will again remain clear of peaceful protests and demonstrations but will respond if people light fires, barricade doors to the Justice Center, commit acts placing community members or public employees at grave risk of injury or interfere with the ability for public employees to conduct necessary functions of jobs in the Justice Center or other acts placing people at grave risk of injury.
Through the evening of Friday, July 17, 2020, and into the early morning of Saturday, July 18, 2020 the Portland Police Bureau worked to restore order in the area around the Justice Center in downtown Portland. Throughout the night, certain people associated with a crowd of hundreds committed criminal activity.
Recently the City of Portland closed Chapman Square Park and Lownsdale Square Park to conduct needed repairs. Fencing had been erected to keep people out of the closed parks.
Dozens of people removed fencing from the parks and used that fencing to block doors to the Justice Center and federal buildings on either side of it using sandbags to strengthen their barricade. People in the crowd used fencing to block streets adjacent to these buildings. Portland Police remained clear of this area for hours.
County and federal law enforcement officers occasionally exited their respective buildings under their own supervision and direction to clear doorways to their buildings. When they did, they were subject to projectiles such as rocks, bottles, pieces of metal and other thrown objects. People in the crowd fired commercial-grade fireworks at them.
At about 1:27 a.m. Portland Police began giving public address announcements to the crowd to disperse directing them to the west and provided several minutes for people to obey these orders, after barricades were put up in a manner that interfered with our ability to get in our out of our building.
The area between SW 1st to SW 6th and SW Columbia to SW Taylor was closed. After several minutes, hundreds of people remained blocking streets, some throwing projectiles. Portland Police formed lines of officers and moved to disperse the crowd. People threw more bottles, metal, and other objects at Portland Police officers.
As Portland Police performed their work, other law enforcement officers including some from federal agencies took action as well, under their own supervision and direction.
Portland Police dispersed the crowd beyond SW 6th then disengaged. After several minutes, at about 2:05 a.m. large numbers of people came back across SW 6th and began throwing more projectiles at Portland Police who reengaged to protect themselves and moved the crowd even further west and north. Slowly over the next ninety minutes the crowd broke into smaller groups and left.
Portland Police did not deploy CS gas.
Beginning tonight, command from the Federal Protective Service will not work in the Portland Police incident command center.
Last night, one Portland Police officer received a minor injury. Portland Police arrested seven people and booked them at jail.
22 year old Britt Mitchell: Interfering with a Peace Officer, Assaulting a Public Safety Officer, Obstructing Governmental Administration
31 year old Riley Harris: Assaulting a Public Safety Officer, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer
21 year old Paulo A. Amaro: Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Assaulting a Public Safety Officer
25 year old Joseph Rivera: Attempt Elude (Vehicle)
21 year old Tiare L. Fauria: Interfering with a Peace Officer, Resist Arrest, Assaulting a Public Safety Officer
38 year old Melissa Martar: Interfering with a Public Safety Officer
23 year old Aubrey Quinn-Ward: Escape III, Resist Arrest, Interfering with a Public Safety Officer, Disorderly Conduct II, Riot
26 year old Dominic Williams: Interfering with a Public Safety Officer
27 year old Jeremy Vaiko: Interfering with a Public Safety Officer, Disorderly Conduct II
Group Activity in Portland July 17, 2020 (Photo)
Portland Police Bureau - 07/18/20 1:01 PM
In the evening hours of Friday, July 16, 2020, a group of a couple hundred people gathered outside the Justice Center in Downtown Portland. For several hours, the group blocked traffic on Southwest 3rd Avenue at Southwest Main Street. While several members of the group peacefully rallied, several others began pulling down the fence around Chapman and Lownsdale Squares.
Around 9:53 p.m., people within the group began moving pieces of the fence from the parks to outside the Justice Center. Once around the Justice Center, the fence was used to barricade Justice Center doors. Portland Police gave announcements from the sound truck, warning people to stop barricading important exits from the building. People kept barricading exits with pieces of the fence at the Justice Center for several hours, including the barricading of exit doors around the Federal Courthouse. Dozens of people worked to barricade the doors while hundreds either cheered them on or assisted.
At 12:32 a.m., the group began shooting commercial grade fireworks and smoke bombs towards the Justice Center near the barricaded doors on the south side of the building. During this time, the group was also using the fence to block traffic on Southwest Madison Street. Portland Police gave announcements from the sound truck to stop barricading the doors but people continued to do it.
At 1:33 a.m., an unlawful assembly was declared due to the threat of life safety to people including those inside of the Justice Center and Federal buildings. An area around the Justice Center was closed. The group was given time to leave the closed area, and told which direction to leave.
By 1:40 a.m. a majority of the group remained in the area, ignoring lawful orders from the sound truck. Officers arrived on scene and began dispersing the crowd to the west. During this time, several arrests were made. While dispersing the crowd, officers took projectiles such as glass bottles, rocks and broken pieces of metal from fencing. After dispersing the crowd to the west, officers disengaged.
At 2:10 a.m., several hundred people returned to the closed area. Once again, officers dispersed the crowd to the west, taking several more arrests. During the arrests, weapons and shields were taken from members in the group.
The remaining groups dissipated in the following hours.
No CS gas was used by the Portland Police Bureau.
Updates on arrest information was not available at the publication of this release. It will be updated when that information becomes available.
Anyone with information about individuals who committed criminal activity at any event is asked to share that information with the Portland Police Bureau. Information can be sent via email to CrimeTips@portlandoregon.gov.