Story at a glance
- After objects like Molotov cocktails were thrown at Portland police, a riot was declared late Wednesday night during a demonstration against the Breonna Taylor ruling.
- Portland has seen multiple incidents of civil unrest following the national Black Lives Matter protests.
Local police declared the renewed unrest in Portland, Ore., a riot on Wednesday night, following demonstrations against the grand jury decision to only indict one officer involved in the police killing of Breonna Taylor. The charge was not directly related to Taylor's death.
Taylor was a 26-year-old Black emergency medical worker living in Louisville, Ky. She was fatally shot by police during a raid on her home in March. Taylor’s name has emerged as a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Only one officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots from his gun that went into other apartments. Hankinson was not charged with any crimes related to Taylor’s death.
In response to the indictment, protesters marched on the Portland Police Central Precinct, and the scene devolved into protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and other objects at the precinct, Reuters reports. Protesters broke windows and lit an awning on fire.
During this evening's mass gathering, a Molotov Cocktail was thrown towards officers outside of Central Precinct.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 24, 2020
Warning: Explicit language. https://t.co/hBLJJWZ2yO
The riot was first declared an unlawful assembly.
“Due to the ongoing criminal behavior and vandalism to the precinct, an unlawful assembly was declared and all persons were told over loudspeaker to immediately leave the area and the street,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement. “Failure to adhere to the order would subject them to arrest, citation, or the use of crowd control agents including, but not limited to, impact weapons and/or OC munitions (Oleoresin Capsicum).”
By 10:16 p.m., protesters did not completely disperse, and the situation was declared a riot. Groups did not completely disperse until around 1:30 a.m.
Portland police say that multiple arrests were made, and officers deployed some crowd control tactics, although the statement did not explicitly say which ones. It also noted three officers suffered minor injuries.
Similar unrest erupted across the nation, specifically in Louisville, the city where Taylor was killed. Two Louisville officers were shot during protests.