PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Vandals smashed windows at businesses in Northeast Portland Monday night as part of a “direct action” march that also blocked traffic and caused delays. Portland police declared the event an unlawful assembly about 20 minutes after it began.
“People in this crowd are destroying windows at a local community center that serves children,” PPB tweeted. The center, the Blazers Boys and Girls Club on NE Martin Luther King Boulevard, had its windows and door smashed.
Two people were arrested: Emily Keppler, 27, arrested for felony criminal mischief; and Emma Lightstone, 27, arrested for riot and criminal mischief, both felonies.
The direct action protest began in the afternoon when a small group of people gathered at Chapman Square in downtown Portland. Around 8 p.m. a group gathered at Woodlawn Park before the march began around 9:30 p.m.
The crowd of about 80 people — plus support vehicles — walked in the streets of Northeast Portland, toward PPB’s North Precinct. Officials with Popeye’s restaurant reported their windows were shattered. Windows were also reportedly smashed at a US Bank and and ATM machine damaged.
Around 9:50 p.m. authorities declared an unlawful assembly and ordered the crowd to disperse. They didn’t.
Shortly after, the windows and door at the Boys and Girls Club were smashed. The group spent some time at North Precinct before moving down MLK and damaging Natural Grocers. They turned down Prescott Street and “meandered through the blocks” headed north, PPB said.
Preparations were made
Late Monday afternoon, PPB said they were aware of the “direct action” at Woodlawn Park, not far from the mixed residential and business district where the North Precinct is located.
“In the past, violent crowds have targeted the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct and employees with arson, including attempts to burn it down. In the past, direct action events have resulted in damage to local business, including many businesses owned by community members of color,” officials said Monday afternoon. “People who engage in criminal activity are subject to the use of force and arrest.”
Last week, riots were declared in Portland on 3 separate days, including Friday night after Portland police shot and killed Robert Delgado at Lents Park. On Saturday, an unlawful assembly was declared outside the PPB East Precinct.
Rioters, arsonists and vandals were destructive in a relatively short period of time on Friday night. The Oregon Historical Society and churches were targeted and damaged and many fires were set.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who is also the Fire Commissioner, urged people to stop setting fires, in part because of the Red Flag danger from the hot and dry weather.