PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a State of Emergency and has imposed a curfew on the city after a night of destructive protests damaged downtown businesses and set fire to the Justice Center. The curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. Saturday night until 6 a.m. Sunday morning.
Under the curfew, all residents are prohibited from travelling on any public streets. City leaders want to avoid a repeat of what KOIN 6 News reporters witnessed first-hand while on the ground reporting Friday night.
It started Friday night with the destruction of the Justice Center. Protesters smashed out the glass windows and got inside the building, trashing the office space and started a fire before police could clear the building with gas, according to law enforcement.
At times, the situation sent KOIN 6 News reporters running for their own safety.
On Saturday, Police Lieutenant Tina Jones spoke out about how the situation would be different that evening.
“We do have a plan in place and we have been in contact with a lot of our community partners to request mutual aid,” said Jones. “Last night, when this was happening, we were already starting to plan for today because we could see the magnitude of what we are facing.”
She said officers don’t want to have to arrest people, but they can’t have looting in the city. Jones said the police bureau will be following up on cases and will be arresting people who were or are engaged in violent acts across the city.
“We are not tolerating violence. We will have resources in place,” said Jones. “The mayor gave us an additional tool with the curfew order.”
Those exempt from the curfew include people travelling to and from work, those who are trying to get help in an emergency, and those experiencing homelessness. People in violation of the curfew face fines of up to $500.