Justice Center protest ends as police use force to disperse; arrests made

2020 Protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For nearly one month, demonstrations have continued daily across the city of Portland, and Friday was no different after a protest outside of the Justice Center in downtown Portland ended as police used force to disperse crowds, arresting an unknown number of demonstrators.

A group of protesters continued their nightly demonstration outside of the Justice Center in downtown Portland. For the first few hours, they blocked the streets and chanted. Later, some demonstrators used plastic barricades to block the doors.

Police say they used “some crowd control munitions” to clear the protesters, but did not use tear gas. An officer who was injured while attempting an arrest needed medical treatment, according to Portland police, but the officer’s injuries have been described as non-life-threatening.

Arrests were made, but it’s unclear how many were arrested or what the charges are at this time.

Earlier on Friday, demonstrators gathered at Fields Park for an Abolish ICE protest. Organizers led a march from the park to Terry Schrunk Plaza, which sits across from the US Immigration Court House on Southwest 3rd Avenue. There, protesters heard speakers share their experiences and calls to action to do away with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Organizers expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and credited them for the momentum they’ve created around the central topic of justice for Black and brown people who have been marginalized by unfair systems in the US. The demonstration concluded before 9 p.m. and some demonstrators moved over to the Justice Center to resume nightly demonstrations for the 29th consecutive day.

Hundreds of people were estimated to be in the crowd outside the Justice Center Friday night. The fence surrounding the building was removed by police; however, its windows were still boarded up.

Timeline starts below:

10:30 p.m.

Around 10:30 p.m. protesters could be seen holding candles as part of a vigil for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two people who were killed by police in the US earlier this year.

11:30 p.m.

Around 11:30 p.m. police were standing outside the Justice Center and were face to face with protesters. Police told protesters to move away from the building and into the park across the street. Authorities reportedly warned of the use of chemical agents or impact munitions.

Minutes later, police appeared to have backed away.

11:50 p.m.

Shortly before midnight, police were once again using the loudspeaker to tell protesters to move away from the Justice Center and into the neighboring parks, but police also said that public parks would close at midnight.

12:00 a.m.

Police tell protesters to leave “to the west or north.”

“This is the Portland Police Bureau. To those near the Justice Center, remove the barricades from the front of the door and stop throwing objects. All persons near the Justice Center must leave the area by traveling to the west and or north at this time. You are directed to disperse immediately. Failure to follow this order will result in this being declared an unlawful assembly. All city of Portland parks are closed. Leave to the west or north now. Failure to follow this direction may subject you to citation or arrest and may subject you to the use of riot control agents and or impact weapons.”

12:30 a.m.

An ambulance arrived at the Justice Center after protesters said someone was wounded.

12:45 a.m.

12:50 a.m.

Photos from Friday night outside the Justice Center

Thursday night protests continued into the early hours of Friday morning. One side of Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct was on fire early Friday morning. The majority of protesters dispersed around 3:30 a.m., according to PPB.

Several businesses were looted overnight after windows were smashed and more fires were set, according to authorities. Although it is not confirmed which business was looted, Top to Bottom on NE MLK Boulevard had restoration crews out early Friday morning installing new windows and clearing debris. A nearby bank is believed to have been vandalized as well.

Police said four arrests were made related to Thursday night’s demonstrations, some for assaults or attempted assaults on police.

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