PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police declared a riot, used tear gas in North Portland and made dozens of arrests during the city’s 33rd consecutive night of demonstrations against police brutality.
PNW Youth Liberation Front and other organizations held a potluck at Peninsula Park Tuesday afternoon. A few hundred people started marching around 8 p.m. They walked across I-5 and turned onto North Interstate Avenue by about 9 p.m. The Portland Police Bureau declared the group an unlawful assembly when it reached the 1800 block of North Lombard Street — near the Portland Police Association building.
The situation spiraled from there. Multiple arrests were made, fireworks were launched toward officers in riot gear and protesters shouted at officers to “get out of our city.” By 10:15, police had declared the situation a riot and ordered people to leave the area as officers used tear gas.
While dispersing the crowd, police say protesters continuously threw things at officers including cans, water bottles and rocks. Some officers reportedly required medical attention after being hit with “baseball-sized” rocks.
The group moved away from the area but later reformed a handful of blocks away at North Albina Avenue and North Lombard Street. Just before 11:30, police said there was criminal activity in the area and ordered people to leave.
Video shared with KOIN 6 by Cozcacuahutli Itzpapalotl shows officers use what appears to be pepper spray on a man.
Police tweeted shortly before midnight that an unlawful assembly was taking place outside the North Precinct. Officers ordered people to leave the area.
By midnight, police say around 85 protesters took over several lanes of traffic on Northeast MLK Boulevard and were accompanied by multiple vehicles. About 45 minutes later, a fire was set inside a dumpster that had been pushed to Northeast Killingsworth Street, near the north side of PPB’s North Precinct.
Most demonstrators left the area by 1:15 a.m.
On Wednesday afternoon, police announced they arrested 29 people over the course of the night on charges ranging from disorderly conduct and riot to interfering with a police officer and assault on a public safety officer. Those arrested ranged in age from 21 to 43. The PPB said six officers were hurt: some were hit by rocks and full soda cans.
“We have experienced weeks of demonstrations that have turned into almost nightly unlawful assemblies, civil disturbances and riots,” said Chief Chuck Lovell. “We have had law enforcement facilities and personnel targeted with violence, including the barricading and burning of an occupied police facility on more than one occasion. Last night, another march occurred, this time in a residential neighborhood where many families were at home and some were likely sleeping. Some have said we are only protecting an empty building and the force used was excessive. My response to that is we would have seen one building lit on fire in a neighborhood where a commercial building fire could have led to residences being burned with families inside. Life safety for all is our number one priority.We are determined to protect our community. This is bigger than property; it is about human lives.”
A group called Shock Bloc also had a “vigil and Dance Party” for the Black LGBTQ community from 8 p.m. to midnight at Revolution Hall in Southeast Portland.
Windows and glass doors were broken around the Justice Center building Monday night following continued nightly protesting in downtown Portland. Police said they did not make any arrests at the time.
However, around 11 a.m. Tuesday, Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies said they heard people banging on the plywood on the west entrance of the building and smelled smoke. Deputies said they found 19-year-old Ronald Connolly next to a fire on the steps of the Justice Center and arrested him for arson. Deputies used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
Don’t Shoot PDX files motion against PPB
Late Tuesday night, Don’t Shoot PDX filed a new court motion against the Portland Police Bureau.
It states that Portland police violated a court order regarding the use of tear gas. That order — which was extended through July 16th — stated tear gas was only to be used when safety or lives were at risk.
The new lawsuit argues officers have not followed that mandate.
Don’t Shoot PDX is asking the judge to completely ban some crowd control devices. The group first sued the City of Portland earlier this month over the use of tear gas.
Follow Hannah Ray Lambert on Twitter for the latest updates throughout the night: