Portland protest declared 'a riot' after police union building set on fire, cops tell demonstrators to leave
PORTLAND, OREGON: Authorities in Portland have declared a riot after a police union office was set on fire by protesters. A group of violent protesters reportedly broke into the Portland Police Association building, set it on fire, and were adding to it when officers declared the riot on Saturday night, August 8.
In a tweet, local police said: “Those near the PPA Office: This has been declared riot. The area including the PPA Office and surrounded by North Kilpatrick to North Buffalo Streets and North Omaha to North Interstate Avenues is now a restricted access area pursuant to Portland City Code 14C.30.010. All people, including members of the press and legal observers must leave the area immediately by traveling to the north. Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to arrest, citation, or crowd control agents, including, but not limited to, tear gas and/or impact weapons.”
Those near the PPA Office: This has been declared riot.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 9, 2020
The area including the PPA Office and surrounded by North Kilpatrick to North Buffalo Streets and North Omaha to North Interstate Avenues is now a restricted access area pursuant to Portland City Code 14C.30.010. cont...
Police warning people arriving at PPA. pic.twitter.com/t0kX82BM2C— Allison Mechanic (@AlliMechanic_TV) August 9, 2020
According to reports, the fire incident happened after a number of demonstrators came to the police union offices, which are just 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of the federal courthouse - the target of the night protests happening in Oregon’s largest city for several weeks following the May killing of George Floyd. After the riot was declared, just after 11:30 in the night, cops formed a line and used flash bangs and smoke canisters to keep the demonstrators away from the area.
Police return fire with what looks like smoke canisters and impact rounds. #blacklivesmatter #protest #pdx #Portland #Oregon #BLM #acab #PortlandProtests #PDXprotests #PortlandStrong #portlandpolice pic.twitter.com/O7vKUvUcYR— Garrison Davis (Teargas Proof) (@hungrybowtie) August 8, 2020
Earlier in the day on Saturday, marches, and rallies were also held throughout the city, including at Peninsula, Laurelhurst, and Berrydale parks. However, as per reports, the number of people turning up for protests had been noticeably smaller this week compared to earlier when thousands demonstrated every night for two weeks in July to protest the presence of federal agents sent by the Trump administration to protect the federal courthouse downtown.
The Saturday night announcement came a day after several arrests were made Friday night, August 7, during similar demonstrations. Several people gathered outside the police union building before the violence started with some chanting: “No good cops in a racist system." At least 24 people were taken into custody. Most of the detainees were from the city only, while one man was from Oakland, California, and another was from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Meanwhile, an earlier report has stated that aggressive demonstrators of Portland had confronted two elderly women and had thrown paint on them. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said that "two elderly community members attempted to stop the group from vandalizing the building with paint and were subsequently hit with the paint."
Portland pic.twitter.com/GuPnB80rGY— boot licker viti (@selfdeclaredref) August 7, 2020
Videos on Twitter showed protesters confronting one of the women who is seen covered up in the paint. In one such video, a protester is seen smashing the wall of a barrier next to one of the women. It seemed to be the same woman who had appeared to attempt to put out a fire. The PPB had said, "Several thank-you notes on blue hearts from community members which were affixed to the front of East Precinct were used as an accelerant for the garbage can fire. An elderly community member came forward in an attempt to extinguish the fire. As she did this, group members stood in her way.
“As the group attempted to keep the fire ignited, several others in the group shined lasers at the security cameras affixed to East Precinct and continued tagging the building with graffiti. Shortly after, PPB with the help of OSP began dispersing the crowd."