Police declare riot in downtown Portland, arrests made

2020 Protests

Many events are advertised as family friendly, encourage social distancing and mask wearing

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Police Bureau declared a riot near the Federal Courthouse and Justice Center late Thursday night.

Items like cans, rocks and even fireworks were thrown at officers throughout the night, according to PPB. Multiple fires were set downtown, including inside the courthouse. Demonstrators continued to stick around even once police declared a riot just before midnight. Officers and protesters clashed as attempts to disperse the crowd were made, with police making multiple arrests.

Hundreds of demonstrators were gathered outside the Justice Center on Thursday night. After several hours of speeches and chanting, some protesters broke into the north side doors of the Justice Center before heading down to the Federal Courthouse — where glass doors were then broken.

Federal officers came outside to “protect the integrity” of the building, according to PPB. As protesters threw projectiles at the officers, a lit commercial-grade firework was thrown inside the building.

The PPB told demonstrators to disperse or else they would be subject to use of force and crowd control munitions, but demonstrators refused to budge.

Officers began dispersing the crowd once the riot was declared at 11:52 p.m., but PPB says they were met with hostility and violence. They say a pocketknife came close to injuring an officer as rocks, bottles and fireworks were continuously thrown their way.

Several arrests were made at this time — but demonstrators still held their ground.

By 12:46 a.m., some had gathered once again outside the courthouse when mortars were launched towards and inside the federal courthouse and a fire erupted inside of the building. Officers attempted to disperse the crowd once again and made more arrests.

Police say several demonstrators went back to the Lownsdale and Chapman Park but eventually dispersed over the next few hours.

PPB threatened to use CS in the night but ultimately did not. Arrest information is still being compiled and is forthcoming.

Earlier Thursday

Peaceful protests continued in Portland in support of Black Lives Matter on Thursday. Below is a list of protests taken from the website PDX Black Lives Matter Events.

A protest at Sellwood Bridge was advertised as an event that welcomes everyone from kids to grandparents. Participants were encouraged to wear masks, bring signs and physical distance.

An Oak Grove sign-waving event happened from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Demonstrations began at the corner of Highway 99 and Oak Grove Blvd, near the Fred Meyer, and it’s a recurring event every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Also frrom 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. was the daily Northeast Portland sign waving These will be at multiple locations, including the corner of NE Cully and Prescott and the corner of NE Killingsworth and 42nd. The event is described as “small and peaceful,” family friendly and with room to spread out on street corners.

A nightly Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood sign-waving from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. also took place at the corner of SE 72nd and Flavel St. The event was slated to include families, mask-wearing and social distancing.

Elsewhere in Southeast, at the corner of SE 50th and Division, was the nightly SE Neighborhood Vigil, slated for 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in support of Black Lives Matter. It was described as a family-friendly event, with mask-wearing and social distancing encouraged.

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the corner of SE Foster Rd and 68th was the Foster Road Family Protest. “Respect social distancing, wear masks, bring your own snacks and stay safe! Bring signs!” reads the description.

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