PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A small group of protesters gathered late Tuesday night at a Northeast Portland park before moving to the Justice Center the night after a fire was set inside an apartment complex in the Pearl District.
About 20-30 people were at Alberta Park by about 10 p.m. Some in the group talked of marching to the North Precinct but later decided to move to the Justice Center in downtown Portland instead.
The previous night
On Monday night, upwards of 200 people marched from the North Park Blocks to an apartment building at NW 10th and Glisan where Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is thought to live. By 11 p.m., the group was burning picnic tables and debris in the street as some set off fireworks. Police said people were seen vandalizing and even burglarizing a business, taking out furniture and throwing it in the fires on the street — yet officers stayed back “in an attempt to deescalate.”
Officers declared a riot and spent the next few hours trying to disperse the group. Nineteen people were arrested, some officers were hit with paintballs and rocks and a dumpster fire was lit.
By 2 a.m., the majority of the crowd had dwindled. Portland police said although they used some crowd control munitions throughout the night, no tear gas was deployed.
On Tuesday, PPB Chief Chuck Lovell said an apartment building was broken into and a fire was lit inside of it overnight.
“Over the past several weeks, we have seen arson at occupied police precincts as well as the PPA office which is tucked into a residential neighborhood,” Lovell said in a statement. “Last night marked yet another escalation of the senseless violence. The families that live inside have done absolutely nothing to provoke a threat to their lives.
“As I’ve stated repeatedly, the nightly violence is coming at increased cost. It is not only that occupied buildings are being targeted. Gun violence is skyrocketing. Emergency calls for service are not being answered. This is impacting the safety of our entire City and urgent action is needed. Our elected officials need to do their part to draw a line in the sand and to hold people accountable. The violent behavior must end.”