Night 70: Unlawful assembly at East Precinct, arrests made

2020 Protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Protesters clashed with officers again and multiple arrests were made at the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct on Thursday, a night after police declared a riot and deployed tear gas when some people set fires and tried to break into the building.

Portland police took the unusual step of condemning a protest gathering preemptively on Twitter Thursday afternoon when they shared a screen capture of a tweet from Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front calling for a “round 2” of a Floyd Light Park Direct Action March at 8 p.m., the same title of the demonstration which turned riotous the night before when people barricaded the door of the precinct, lit fires and police responded with tear gas.

“This announcement means there is intent to engage in violent acts like we saw last night where attempts were made to burn an occupied building and people in vehicles tried to run over officers,” Portland police’s tweet said.

Protesters again vandalized the East Precinct throughout the night, clashing with anyone attempting to dissuade them. Officers were hit with items ranging from glass bottles to rocks — PPB says one officer was severely injured after taking a large rock to the shoulder.

At one point, an elderly woman claiming to live in the neighborhood pleaded with the group to stop the vandalism. Some of the group then proceeded to throw paint on her and yell in her face.

Around 12:30 a.m., PPB announced the closing of Southeast 106th Avenue from Southeast Washington Street to Southeast Cherry Blossom St. and that any person–including members of the press–who violate this order will be subject to arrest. After more dispersal attempts by the police, the majority of the crowd left the area by 2:30 a.m.

By the end of the night, police say multiple arrests were made. One of those taken into custody included a person who had a loaded handgun on them. No other details have been released, but further information is forthcoming.

Police used various crowd control munitions on the crowds overnight — but no tear gas was used.

Earlier in the night

By 9 p.m., a few dozen people had gathered at Floyd Light Park, including members of the “Wall of Vets.”

Portland police tweeted at 9:40 p.m. “We believe the intention of the crowd outside East Precinct is to vandalize or attempt to burn down the precinct. If you attempt to break in to or burn East Precinct you will be subject to arrest and the use of force to include crowd control munitions.”

Within a handful of minutes, some in the crowd had lit a fire in a trash can near the boarded-over doors of the East Precinct. A woman tried to stand in the way of protesters who were splashing paint on the plywood outside the building. She was splashed in paint and confronted by angry protesters.

Another woman with a walker then tried to put out the trash can fire with an extinguisher — but was blocked by a person dressed in all black.

Portland police tweeted photos of ties made of rebar used by protesters to pop police vehicle tires during the 70th night of demonstrations, Aug. 6, 2020. (Portland Police Bureau)

As some threw things ranging from bottles to rocks at officers, police began to disperse the crowd. Officers pushed the crowd to SE Stark and 113th and took one person into custody who appeared to have a large backpack at about 10:30 p.m. Officers then deployed some smoke canisters before falling back to the East Precinct. Protesters marched after them.

Some protesters threw ties made of rebar into the street to pop the tires of police vehicles, the PPB tweeted.

By midnight, pockets of protest groups had returned to the precinct area and officers were moving through the area, making some arrests and trying to disperse the group. A couple of fireworks were let off at the time.

PPB said one officer was severely injured after being hit in the shoulder with a large rock.

Around 12:30 a.m., PPB announced they are closing SE 106th Ave from SE Washington St to SE Cherry Blossom St. and that any person–including members of the press–who violate this order will be subject to arrest. Although, according to the city’s website, there’s a provision “for reasonable access to such areas by members of the media for the purpose of news gathering and reporting.”

Police said multiple people with “press” badges were interfering with officers by shining lasers in their eyes and throwing items at them.

Despite the announcement, police say the majority of the group stayed in the area. Officers dispersed the area once again.

Most of the crowd had left the area by 2:30 a.m. Police say several arrests were made by the end of the night — which included someone found to have a loaded handgun on their person. PPB also said that while various crowd control munitions were used, no CS gas was deployed.

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Other Night 70 demonstrations

Elsewhere in the city, a group of healthcare workers was expected to march from Pioneer Square at 7:30 p.m. to the Justice Center.

According to the website Portland Black Lives Matter Events, the Black Youth Movement hosted a March for Healthcare Equity from Frazer Park to Laurelhurst Park.

A sign-waving event was also planned in Lake Oswego for Black Lives Matter at Millenium Park at 6 p.m.

Night 69

Portland police declared a riot at PPB’s East Precinct Wednesday night once a group of people cracked the glass front doors to the precinct. The group proceeded to barricade the doors and set a fire. Shortly after, police used tear gas to disperse the crowd along with other crowd control munitions. PPB said during the dispersal, someone in a truck attempted to run over several officers.

The protests downtown near the Justice Center were largely peaceful.

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