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Violent Portland New Year’s Eve crowd leads to riot declaration, arrests

Melted garbaage can, damaged crosswalk signal, fire remnants in New Year's Eve riot in downtown Portland
Portland Police Bureau
Melted garbaage can, damaged crosswalk signal, fire remnants in New Year's Eve riot in downtown Portland

Molotov cocktails thrown; officers injured; several businesses damaged

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police made arrests after a New Year’s Eve crowd became violent, causing damage while throwing fireworks, bricks and frozen water bottles at officers, some of whom were injured.

The crowd of 80 to 100 people gathered near Main Street and some engaged in violence, prompting officials to declare a riot and issue warnings to leave the area.

Police said some officers were targeted by balloons that may have been laced with a substance that caused burning to the skin. Some law enforcement officers were injured but no Portland officers were hurt.

Several businesses were damaged. The crowd mostly dispersed by 2 a.m. Friday.

News release:

Molotov Cocktails and Other Objects Thrown during Riot in Downtown Portland (Photo)
Portland Police Bureau - 01/01/21 2:51 AM

On Thursday, December 31, 2020 at about 7:45p.m., Central Precinct officers became aware of a gathering in the area of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street. As the crowd grew to an estimated 80-100 people, some individuals in the crowd began to engage in violence. At least two Molotov cocktail-style firebombs were thrown, and large, commercial grade aerial fireworks were launched at the Federal Courthouse and the Justice Center. Some individuals tried to use tools to break into the Justice Center at 1120 Southwest 3rd Avenue, but were not successful.

Portland Police officers citywide had to be pulled from answering emergency calls to respond. Law Enforcement officers from the Federal Protective Services and the Multnomah County Sheriff's office also engaged the crowd and were targeted with dangerous projectiles. Officers were attacked with large rocks, full size bricks, and frozen water bottles. Some officers were targeted by paint balloons that may have been laced with a caustic substance as it caused burning to the skin. Some law enforcement officers suffered injuries, although no Portland Police officers were hurt.

The violence from the crowd prompted a declaration of a riot. The crowd was warned by loudspeaker and social media (@portlandpolice on Twitter), "All persons in the area of Southwest 3rd Avenue around Southwest Main Street are ordered to leave to the south and west immediately. If you do not leave you are subject to arrest, citation, and/or the use of force, including but not limited to impact weapons and tear gas."

Few if any heeded the warning. During the riot, participants started multiple fires. In one, a garbage can was lit ablaze and melted to the pavement. A crosswalk signal was torched, as was various debris piled in the road at Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street (photos). Dangerous objects continued to be thrown at police officers.

The crowd mostly dispersed by 2:00a.m. No CS gas was deployed by PPB during this event, but inert smoke and some impact munitions were used.

Several businesses were damaged. Officers are still compiling the reports of damage. If anyone is a victim of a crime related to this event, they're encouraged to report it online and reference case number 20-384961.

Arrests were made. Information on arrests is still being compiled and a list of those arrested will be released at a later time.

The Associated Press

KTVZ news sources



  1. So a recap of the headlines.

    Riots in Portland that damage property and injury LEO.

    Gov says don’t open small businesses,just go broke.

    Get a vaccine shot that might make you real sick.

    That all makes sense.

    1. The plan is clearly not working, unless the plan is the entire destruction of society and peoples well being and the economy and peoples very souls.
      If so then it’s a great success. It’s easier to destroy than to create and build, these zombie marxists are just parasites on all the good people both Democrats and Republicans alike.

    1. I like both of your comments, Gaslight; they are each totally TRUE. Your “The plan…” statement is what is going on now throughout America. It appears we are leading up to a civil war. So sad that so many were brainwashed in our schools and universities over the last generation or two. Anyone with the ability to read and who wants to learn the TRUTH by seeing how previous overthrown Governments realize what is going on or those who were lucky enough to have gone through good schools many years ago, know this to be true. I feel very sorry for the elderly who went through the great depression, or who lived through the last World War or who came here to FREE AMERICA to run from the communist countries, who now see it happening here. Those of us who LOVE America will hopefully be able to save her before it is too late.

    1. Being that they are destroying Portland businesses that love the progressive nature of the Marxist nanny state it is hard to muster any sympathy for the Portland business owners.

  2. Oregon’s governor and Portland’s mayor / city council long ago lost control…and they don’t know how to get it back.

    No other state in the Union has allowed encouraged, and permitted an entire, once beautiful keystone city to become what Portland has.


    Sad and tragic.

  3. Meh . . . this was but a warm up for the 6th. Funny how all the anti-Trumper’s/Democrats/Liberals that were screaming for weeks that Biden was President come the 20th, have become quiet. Let’s wait until Congress certifies the winner on the 6th, to see who will be inaugurated on the 20th. If it’s Trump, the sore losers will have a fit, that their cheating failed. If it’s Biden . . . so be it! I promise I will show the same respect for Biden that ya’ll showed for Trump.

    1. Yes Biden won. And no one respected Trump before he was president so you shouldn’t be surprised no one (other than Cult45 and that’s different) respected him as president because he respects no one. If he wasn’t such a douche he might have gotten re-elected without the popular vote again

  4. It IS really sad to see what used to be a lovely, exciting, safe city to visit or live in be totally destroyed. Due to Democrat Governors and Mayors, as well as liberal spineless “judges” who are all Democrats, so many USED to be wonderful cities are likely gone forever. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, New York and others are so corrupt and poorly run they are filthy, dangerous and disease-filled. I wonderful whether “the Left” realizes at all what they have done and are doing to wonderful, honest, hard-working people who are the heart and soul of our whole country, AMERICA? Maybe not.

  5. Sounds like they came ready to riot. Poor Portland Police. They get pelted with rocks, bricks and chemicals, and then arrest a couple of rioters who get immediately released by the DA. Destroy a couple more businesses, but no worries, the “evil” insurance companies will pick up the tab. So was this a BLM sanctioned event? A Merkley/Wyden sanctioned event to get Congress to approve $2000 checks? or maybe a fundraiser for the “Red House Family”

  6. No one to blame but the liberal city governance top to bottom. They have run the city for years and the results are clear. Would love to here how the liberals defend what is happening in Portland. Good luck. Keep voting for far left policies in your town and the result will be the same.

  7. why does the city of PDX allow this to continue?
    absolutely insane.
    and presuming this is still BLM and ANTIFA – their cause no longer carries any merit. they have destroyed cities and PDX is a waste land now.

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