Night 72: Fire started inside PPA office, riot declared

2020 Protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Late night criminal activity once again surrounded the ongoing nightly protests in Portland. In addition to a riot being declared by police due to confrontations between officers and protesters, the Portland Police Association Office was also the target of suspected arsonists.

Early Sunday, PPA released security camera footage of the fire set inside the office:

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On Saturday, demonstrations were organized both in Northeast and Southeast Portland. A march was organized Laurelhurst Park Saturday evening, the same location and time as Friday night’s march, which ended at the Penumbra Kelly Building where an unlawful assembly declaration was made by police.

Also on the east side of the river, a rally and march at Peninsula Park began at 8 p.m. and included both a gathering of the PDX Dads Leafblower Brigade and a Defund the Police Refund the People event, according to the website Portland Black Lives Matter Events. Music and speakers preceded the march.

Around 10 p.m., Moms United for Black Lives Matter led demonstrators on a march northwest from Peninsula Park. Hundreds of people walked to the Portland Police Association Headquarters on N Lombard Street. Portland Police stated on Twitter that traffic was blocked from North Interstate Ave to North Denver Ave due to the demonstration and warned people not to “engage in criminal activities.”

People chanted in the street. Multiple dumpsters were overturned lit on fire and chain link fences were set up on both sides of the street as barricades.

At 11:38 p.m. Portland police announced over their loudspeaker that the demonstration was an unlawful assembly and told people to leave the area. Minutes later, authorities declared a riot.

Police said a riot was declared after a group of people broke into the PPA office and started a fire inside. “Officers moved the crowd so the fire could be extinguished before it could grow out of control,” said Portland police via Twitter.

After midnight, protesters were largely dispersed from the area in North Portland after some crowd control munitions were used, what looked like flash bangs and smoke munitions–but not tear gas.

Police made arrests and one woman who was hit with an impact munition on her leg was treated with ice by a law enforcement medic.

Around 1 a.m., a KOIN 6 News reporter saw a large dumpster fire had been set near N Denver and Schofield, but some other people who did not look to be part of the protests put it out with buckets of water. A witness on the street told KOIN 6 News she thought they were workers of nearby businesses.

At 1:19 a.m. Portland Police also declared a riot to those in Kenton Park and asked all people, “including members of the press and legal observers,” to leave the area.

Hundreds of people gathered at Waterfront Park Saturday evening to hear activist and worship leader Sean Feucht speak. August 8, 2020 (KOIN)

By 2:00 a.m., the majority of the crowd left the area though PPB said it made several arrests.

Earlier in the evening, hundreds of people gathered at Waterfront Park to hear activist and worship leader Sean Feucht speak. Feucht said in a promotional YouTube video earlier this week the “Riots to Revival” event would “flip the script” on recent unrest. The event remained non-violent despite a few heated disagreements over face coverings, which are required outdoors when people cannot maintain a six-foot distance.

Follow digital reporter Danny Peterson for updates throughout the night:

Follow reporter Jennifer Dowling for updates:

Though some events were also scheduled downtown Saturday night, including outside the Justice Center, gatherings there have dwindled significantly in recent days, to the point where hardly any people could be found there after midnight. In weeks past, the Justice Center and Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse building next door had been a hot spot of numerous large gatherings.

KOIN 6 News will continue to update this story throughout the night.

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