Night 60: Federal officers put out fires, use tear gas

2020 Protests

Sunday night's demonstrations ended with tear gas, several arrests

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Demonstrators took to the streets of downtown Portland Monday evening for a 60th straight night of protests against police and systemic racism.

Federal officers declared the event an unlawful assembly around 12:40 a.m. Around 1 a.m., officers moved in from multiple directions, deploying tear gas and flash bangs. KOIN 6 News witnessed officers arrest one person, who was taken away in a Homeland Security vehicle.

Crowds have become much larger during the past week, drawing thousands of people to the area surrounding the Justice Center and the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse. Sunday and Monday night’s turnout was smaller than previous evenings, but still drew a considerable number of people on days that saw triple digit temperatures.

Tuesday morning, the US Attorney of Oregon’s office said that two people were arrested overnight. According to the office, one was issued a violation citation for creating a disturbance while the other was released without any charges.

Late Monday afternoon, the office announced seven people had been arrested in connection with the previous night’s activities. All face charges of assaulting federal officers, according to authorities. Between July 23 and 28, federal officers have made 24 total arrests.

Timeline of Events

1 a.m.

Federal police declared an unlawful assembly around 12:40 a.m., after people in the crowd continued shooting fireworks at the courthouse and starting fires on the inside of the fence.

At about 1 a.m., federal officers moved in from multiple directions, deploying tear gas and flash bangs. KOIN 6 News witnessed officers arrest one person, who was taken away in a Homeland Security vehicle. By 1:30 a.m., a maximum of 100 people remained in the area around the federal courthouse and Justice Center.

12 a.m.

Demonstrators chant “Black Lives Matter” and bang on the fence outside the federal courthouse. Around 12:12 a.m., Portland Police said someone threw a Molotov cocktail or “similar device” that burst into flames near the doors to the courthouse.

Around 12:35 a.m., Portland Police said they detained a juvenile near Southwest 4th Avenue and Yamhill after getting reports that people were walking down the street throwing objects at passing cars. Portland Police said they did not assist in dispersing crowds or deploy any CS gas during the evening’s demonstrations.

11 p.m.

Around 11:30 p.m. federal officers deployed tear gas after warning the crowd of demonstrators outside the fence multiple times. Officers used a hose to extinguish the fire and did not appear to go beyond the fenced perimeter of the courthouse.

Protesters used leaf blowers to clear the air.

A few minutes later, federal officers warned that the demonstration would be declared an unlawful assembly if people didn’t stop tampering with the fence.

Before midnight, another fire had been started just inside the fence.

10 p.m.

Around 10 p.m. a large fire was lit at the site where the bronzed Elk statue used to stand between Chapman and Lownsdale squares.

At 10:20, federal officers issued a warning to demonstrators over a loudspeaker.

A small group of demonstrators was later spotted putting out the fire that was started at the old statue site.

9 p.m.

Around 9:15 p.m. the Portland Police Bureau said via Twitter that crowds had begun to block downtown streets on SW 3rd Avenue and surrounding blocks.

Protesters gave speeches about racial injustice and police brutality on the steps of the Justice Center. A block away, demonstrators lined the fence surrounding the federal courthouse.

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