Investigators release images of suspects in Justice Center riot fire

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Authorities have released images of protesters wanted for breaking into and setting a fire in the Multnomah County Justice Center on Friday night during a demonstration that quickly descended into a riot.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office released 14 images of people suspected of setting fires inside the building in the 11 p.m. hour.

The investigation into the Multnomah County Justice Center fire is being led by the Portland Fire & Rescue Arson team, with help from Portland police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with any information is asked to call Portland Fire’s arson tipline at 503-823-INFO.

Meawhile, arson investigators are still working to figure out how many fires were set or were attempted on Friday night into the early morning hours on Saturday, when the protest against police brutality — which had been sparked when a black man was killed in police custody in Minneapolis — turned into a riot.

Authorities are asking anyone whose business or property was set on fire, or believes someone tried to set it on fire, to contact them at Portland Fire’s arson tip line at 503-823-INFO. They also ask anyone who sees what could be an incendiary device to not clean it up and call Portland Fire’s non-emergency line at 503-823-3333 so investigators can come.

Friday’s protests started peacefully in North Portland with a vigil; however, as thousands started to march toward downtown, acts of vandalism were reported along the way on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and into downtown.

Tensions continued to rise as marchers met demonstrators who were already outside of the Justice Center. Eventually, protesters broke into the Justice Center, and from there events spiraled into chaos as dozens of downtown storefronts and businesses were broken into, with some being set on fire.

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