Witnesses recount events leading to PPB declaring riot in NW Portland


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Around 75 people dressed in black marched from Couch Park through Northwest Portland Friday night smashing windows and vandalizing businesses during another “autonomous demonstration” march.

Similar demonstrations have been happening for months in Portland with some people vandalizing buildings and setting fires near Portland Police precincts and other businesses across Portland.

The riot was declared after an individual smashed the windows of a Starbucks in Portland’s Nob Hill neighborhood.

Police said people also pushed their way into a tavern-style restaurant located on the 2200 block of Northwest Hoyt Street. Officers said one person in the group launched a rock through a window of someone’s home after the resident started filming the demonstration.

Witnesses told KOIN 6 News that a man ran inside McMenamins Rams Head near Northwest 23rd and Hoyt. Other members of the group tried to follow.

Witnesses also reported that some people were flashing what appeared to be high-powered flashlights inside, and the host stand was tipped over.

Two people were arrested in connection with the riot:

Jacob A. Camello, 29, of Portland was charged with two counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree and Crystal M. Miranda, 29, of Portland was charged with one count of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree.

Jacob A. Camello
Crystal M. Miranda

Police said Camello was also carrying items used to “cause criminal mischief.”

Both Camello and Miranda will be arraigned on Tuesday, April 27.

By Saturday, windows were boarded up and broken glass was swept away. Although Starbucks was open a little later than usual, employees were back at work serving customers again.

Past demonstrations have involved between 100 and 200 people but have since dwindled down to around 40 to 100 people.

Members of these groups often advocate for abolishing police and prisons on both social media and at these demonstrations.

One man in Northwest Portland said he believed most people at the demonstration were there for the right reasons.

“It brings attention to the issue that is you know, plaguing this country,” he said. “There is always going to be individuals in any situation, any demonstration … that’s going to cause trouble. 95% of the people are doing it for good reasons.”

Still, he said it was unfortunate that some who do cause trouble get most of the attention.

A TriMet bus shelter is tagged with the anarchist symbol at NW 21st and Northrop during a riot, April 23, 2021 (PPB)

During a press conference Friday afternoon, Mayor Ted Wheeler and PPB Acting Chief Chris Davis urged citizens to report what they see but not directly engage the group.

Wheeler also requested they not be labeled “protesters.”

“Call them what they call themselves: self-described anarchists,” the mayor said.

Wheeler also extended the State of Emergency through the weekend, which lets the city tap into other resources such as Oregon State Police, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, and even in some cases the National Guard.

PPB Deputy Chief Chris Davis told reporters on Friday that the State of Emergency helps police in the aftermath of the demonstrations.

“It allows smoother coordination between city bureaus,” he said. “So in the aftermath of an event, it’s a smoother process for getting things cleaned up afterwards and putting things back the way they are supposed to be. And then it also does give the mayor some authority was we mentioned earlier for closing parks, initiating curfews if necessary or closing streets if necessary. So that’s really where it helps us.”

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