Riot declared in Portland; arsonists set fires downtown

Protests

'Direct action' was announced on Thursday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the third time this week, a riot was declared in Portland after marchers left Director Park and began smashing windows, burglarizing businesses and setting fires.

There were two separate marches in downtown Portland Friday night, hours after police shot and killed a man in Lents Park. One remained peaceful. The other turned destructive quickly and was declared a riot around 9:50 p.m.

“Participants in the riot have been seen attempting to burglarize businesses,” police tweeted.

Arsonists set fires around downtown Portland, including a raging fire outside the Apple store. At least two security guards were inside the Apple store when the fire was set. Nordstrom and Nike stores were also vandalized and damaged.

Another fire blocked the MAX tracks on SW Yamhill.

Among the spots damaged was the Oregon Historical Society. Windows were smashed and graffiti tagged the building. In October 2020, OHS was also significantly damaged during another riot.

Police began detaining people at SW 4th and Salmon. At least one person was arrested. PPB said more arrests were being made and “a hostile crowd is surrounding them.”

Rioters lit a fire at SW 3rd and Salmon around 11 p.m. and a dumpster fire around SW 4th and Taylor. Portland Fire & Rescue responded to both.

By 11:30 p.m. the rioters were largely scattered.

The direct action protest began at Director Park around 8 p.m., with a march that started around 9 p.m. On Thursday, organizers once again tweeted the info with the admonition: “No streamers. No megaphones.”

The group left Director Park and marched toward the Justice Center chanting, “No good cops in a racist system.” Not long after this march began, people in the group were seen breaking windows. This is the march that was declared a riot.

This direct action was announced before the fatal shooting at Lents Park that brought an “aggressive, hostile crowd” shortly after the incident around 9:30 a.m.

The other march began with at Salmon Spring Fountain in a vigil for Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old killed by Chicago police. Those gathered at the vigil crossed the Hawthorne Bridge and remained peaceful, Portland police said.

Earlier this week, two other direct actions quickly escalated into riots near the Portland Police Association headquarters.

In a release, PPB said they were aware of the direct action beginning at Director Park. They noted two things: similar past events that ended with “wanton destruction of public and private property, violence and active threat of harm,” along with “arson and riots.”

“Fliers for one of tonight’s events suggest that participants want to disrupt traffic on a bridge,” police said.

And they noted the Red Flag warning for extreme fire danger because of the high winds and dry conditions.

Police officials said they were ready to respond “to any violence or criminal activity that threatens the safety of community members or public employees or public or private property. People who engage in criminal activity are subject to the use of force and arrest.”

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