Portland police arrest 27 people amid latest demonstrations

Police in Portland, Ore., announced Saturday that they had arrested 27 people after declaring an unlawful assembly during protests in the city the night before that stretched into Saturday.

Police said demonstrators were marching toward the Portland Police Association building, where they were then warned to stay off private property. The Portland Police Bureau said in a statement that the building had been the target of arsonists in the past and that they planned to “proactively prevent fires from being started.”

Authorities said many protesters did not heed their warnings and at around 11:35 p.m. local time began throwing items at them, including rocks, a full beverage can and water bottles, prompting the declaration of an unlawful assembly. Traffic stops of vehicles supporting the protests discovered one illegally possessed pistol.

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All 27 people detained were booked in the Multnomah County Detention Center. Most of those arrested were charged with suspicion of interfering with a peace officer or disorderly conduct.

Authorities said, “Some crowd control munitions were used, but no CS gas was deployed by officers.”

Portland has remained one of the epicenters of the national reckoning over systemic racism and police brutality, with demonstrators protesting in the city for months.

The protests, which began after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May, have continued for 100 days in Portland, with demonstrators also condemning the police shootings of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Many protests in Portland have remained peaceful, though some demonstrations earlier in the summer devolved into looting and intense clashes with law enforcement, leading to threats from President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE to send the National Guard to restore order.

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“Success: Since the National Guard moved into Kenosha, Wisconsin, two days ago, there has been NO FURTHER VIOLENCE, not even a small problem. When legally asked to help by local authorities, the Federal Government will act and quickly succeed. Are you listening Portland?” he said in late August.

But Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) has hit Trump, saying the president would only exacerbate the situation in the city. 

“We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection,” he wrote in a fiery letter last month.

“When you sent the Feds to Portland last month, you made the situation far worse. Your offer to repeat that disaster is a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city,” he added. “Stay away, please.”