14 arrests, riot declared as protests near 3-month milestone

Protests

PPB said roughly 50 officers used in protest response

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Several items were launched at Portland Police officers late Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday leading to another riot declaration.

Protesters had reportedly intended to march to the Penumbra Kelly public safety building, however, a standoff between marchers and officers took place on a bridge along the way — and the demonstrators retreated.

PPB said items thrown at officers throughout the night included eggs, glass bottles and paintballs. Rocks were thrown as well, one of which struck a medic, according to PPB.

“A Portland Fire & Rescue Medic embedded with one of the squads was hit in the shin with a large rock,” PPB said in a release issued early Sunday. “He suffered a minor laceration to the leg.”

About 50 officers were deployed in Saturday night’s riot, according to PPB. The vast majority of the 14 arrested during the 86th night of protests were Portland residents.

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PORTLAND, OR – AUGUST 22: Portland police officers walk through clouds of smoke while dispersing a crowd from in front of the Multnomah County Sheriffs Office on August 22, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Hundreds of protesters clashed with police Saturday night following a rally in east Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Police declared a riot just after midnight, about an hour following the arrival of protesters who had marched to the Penumbra Kelly Building in Southeast Portland Saturday night; the second protest came hours later following dueling demonstrations between right-wing and left-wing protesters in the downtown area earlier in the day.

After initially being cut off by police at the overpass on 47th Avenue, protesters who had convened at Normandale Park Saturday evening reached the Penumbra Kelly Building around 11 p.m. and the crowd started to gradually grow to about 100.

Some individuals darted onto the property to take traffic cones, which prompted warnings about illegal activity from Portland police over a loudspeaker.

Police tweeted shortly before declaring an unlawful assembly that some protesters had thrown or launched “a variety of items” at officers and police vehicles, including paintballs, and had shined green lasers at officers. A riot was declared after Portland police said officers were hit with “rocks, bottles and other dangerous objects” and called it a “life safety issue.”

It’s unclear if any arrests have been made at this time.

Follow reporter Jennifer Dowling updates:

Earlier on Saturday, federal officers declared an unlawful assembly at Terry Schrunk Plaza after several hours of clashes between opposing protesters.

Demonstrations first started outside the Justice Center on SW 3rd Avenue. A rally organized by members of right-wing groups including Proud Boys was met by counter-protesters around 12:15 pm. Several afternoon skirmishes turned violent, with demonstrators hurling rocks and other items at each other and getting into fights.

During the first few hours of confrontations, the Portland Police Bureau warned that officers were prepared to start using crowd control weapons if the violence did not end. An unlawful assembly was later declared by police on behalf of federal officers when the crowd moved to the Terry Schrunk Plaza, which is federal property.

In a Saturday afternoon statement after demonstrations in the area dissipated, PPB said, “While the activity in the group met the definition of a riot, PPB did not declare one because there were not adequate police resources available to address such a declaration.”

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