Night 92: Fires set at PPA office; presumed complex of Portland mayor occupied

2020 Protests

Friday's event organized in support of Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Police Association (PPA) building was once again targeted by protesters late Friday night and into Saturday morning.

The Portland Police Bureau said some members of the crowd wheeled multiple dumpsters into the road in front of the office and set at least one on fire around midnight. Then, several crowd members put a mattress against the door of the building and set it afire as well.

“Officers responded and moved the rioters away from the building so the fire could be extinguished,” PBB said in a release early Saturday. “As officers approached, rioters thre objects at them including rocks. Multiple officers suffered minor injuries after being struck by rocks.”

PPB said several arrests were made and will provide further details later Saturday.

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Demonstrators marched to Northwest Portland’s Pearl District where they occupied a condominium complex they believe to be home to Mayor Ted Wheeler on Friday.

The evening started with a bloc party featuring live music and speeches about defunding and abolishing police departments near NW Park and West Burnside. About 200 people then set out on a march just after 6 p.m., stopping at NW Glisan and 10th near Wheeler’s presumed residence.

During the next few hours, at least three people locked themselves inside the complex in the hopes of expressing several demands, including defunding Portland police.

KOIN 6 News reached out to Wheeler’s office and received the following response:

“We are monitoring the situation and hope protesters remain peaceful for the safety of other residents.”

The crowd outside of the complex had thinned by 11 p.m. though a few dozen were still gathered in the streets.

Friday marks the 92nd consecutive night of demonstrations in Portland this summer since George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer and is slated to support Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which has seen nightly protests since Sunday after Jacob Blake was shot nearly seven times by white officers. Blake is still recovering from his injuries.

High school students also organized a march supporting the Black Lives Matter cause on Friday in Vancouver.

Thursday night’s demonstration at Duniway Park and march around downtown Portland, which was lead by PDX Black Youth Movement, was peaceful and resulted in no arrests. Portland police said the march blocked streets for a few hours but then dispersed on its own.

However, on Thursday night across the country, President Donald Trump invoked the ongoing Portland protests, which have involved clashes between demonstrators and local, county and federal authorities.

On Friday afternoon, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released an open letter to Trump, denouncing the president’s rhetoric.

“We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you,” Wheeler wrote. “We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection.”

More than 500 have been arrested by Portland police since the protests started in late May, and 74 have been arrested by federal agents, with the majority of those arrests taking place in July.

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