PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Commercial grade fireworks and a mortar were used against Portland Police Bureau officers during Sunday night’s protest resulting in multiple injuries and another riot declaration.
Two officers were hit by fireworks thrown by protesters around 10 p.m., prompting PPB to declare another riot. One officer was burned on her neck and her face mask melted. Another officer standing 10 feet away was injured in the leg by a piece of the firework striking his leg.
By the end of the night, at least 16 people were arrested including Demetria Hester, the Black activist and hate crime victim of convicted killer Jeremy Christian. All were booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.
Protesters returned to the Portland Police Association Sunday and police declared a riot for the second night in a row, arresting numerous people.
Demonstrators organized at Kenton Park in North Portland. Once there, they collectively agreed on the PPA as their march destination. Roughly 200 people had convened at the park by 9 p.m. which is about a half-mile from the PPA building.
One speaker said through a megaphone, “Tonight we will be civilly disobedient. And there’s nothing peaceful about the protest.”
People marched from the park to the PPA building and began blocking the roads with dumpsters and fencing. At one point, a fire was lit in one of the dumpsters in the middle of the road.
Almost immediately Portland police declared an unlawful assembly. Authorities ordered people to disperse immediately or be subject to “arrest or citation and may subject you to the use of crowd control agents, impact weapons, or tear gas.”
Minutes later, around 10:15 p.m., authorities declared a riot. Portland police officers and Oregon State Troopers started moving in to disperse the crowd. At least two arrests were made.
Groups of people broke off. Some gathered in Kenton Park, which provoked another announcement from police that, “This is still a riot.” Around 11 p.m. some people had returned to the PPA building on N Lombard, to which, again, police ordered people to leave to the north and west of the area or face arrest and use of force. KOIN 6 News witnessed police arrest several more people, including Demetria Hester, the leader of Moms United for Black Lives.
By midnight, the crowd had shrunk to fewer than 100 people, and many of those still in attendance wore helmets and clothing labeled “press.”
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On Saturday, demonstrations happened in both North and Southeast Portland. A march was organized Laurelhurst Park Saturday evening and ended at the Penumbra Kelly Building where police declared an unlawful assembly.
The other rally and march began at Peninsula Park and ended at the PPA building. People chanted in the street. Multiple dumpsters were overturned and lit on fire. 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 after they said a group of people broke into the PPA office and started a fire inside. Authorities said three officers were hurt while trying to disperse crowd members who allegedly shined lasers and threw glass bottles and paint balloons at police.
One protester, who did not want to be named, said she was hit with an impact munition as police tried to break up the crowd.
“It appeared to be semi peaceful,” she said of the events prior to that point. “But we saw other people engaging in activities that could be deemed a riot so we stayed back by 7-Eleven here.”
The protester showed KOIN 6 News where she was hit in the leg. She said she was trying to follow police orders, but “they just started shooting indiscriminately at people. And you see I was shot here … essentially for nothing. For obeying their orders.”
About 300 people gathered at Kenton Park after police dispersed the crowd, according to PPB. At 1:14 a.m. police announced that the park was closed and ordered everyone to disperse. By 2:00 a.m., police said most people had left the area. Police said they arrested nine people following Saturday night’s activities. Charges include riot, assaulting a public safety officer, disorderly conduct, interfering with a peace officer, and resisting arrest.