Riot declared in Portland
Police in Portland, Ore., declared that a protest outside a law enforcement building Saturday evening had become a riot and made numerous arrests after officers and police vehicles were allegedly hit with rocks and other objects.
A statement on the police bureau’s website indicated that further details concerning the number of arrests and charges would come in a later update but noted that several people had been arrested.
“Portland Police announced to the crowd that its conduct constituted a riot and ordered people to leave to the west. People in the crowd persisted in throwing rocks and other objects,” officials said. Photos posted by police on Twitter showed a large rock that officers claimed had been thrown by protesters and glass bottles as well as minor damage to a police cruiser.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 15, 2020
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 16, 2020
Police added that two Portland officers were treated for injuries sustained when they were hit by thrown objects, including one that was allegedly thrown by an individual in a crowd of people wearing press badges or other articles of clothing identifying themselves as members of the media.
“Officers reported having rocks, frozen eggs, glass bottles, and frozen water bottles thrown at them. Officers reported people were shining green lasers at them, which is against the law in Oregon. Somebody spray painted over a security camera on the Penumbra Kelly Building,” read the police statement.
Protests in Portland have gone on for months over the deaths of Black Americans during encounters with police, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Many of the demonstrations have remained peaceful, though the city became the focus of national attention after videos emerged of protesters being detained by federal law enforcement agents in unmarked vans, resulting in the protests swelling in size and intensity.
The city’s mayor, Ted Wheeler (D), has yet to comment on Saturday night’s arrests on social media or in a press release, and a request for a statement from his office was not immediately returned.
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