Night 68: Police declare riot in NoPo, investigate gunfire

2020 Protests

Demonstrators barricaded streets, set fires near Portland Police Association building Tuesday night

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A riot was declared in the early hours of Wednesday after demonstrators gathered across Portland on Tuesday and later marched to the Portland Police Association building where some set fires and barricaded public roadways for the 68th night of protests against systemic racism and police.

As the protests spilled into Wednesday morning, several shots rang out near North Mobile Avenue and then again about 15 minutes later near North Lombard Street. No one was hurt, but a car was struck. When Portland police went to investigate, the crowd that met them was hostile and no one would speak to officers about the incident.

A riot was declared around 1:30 a.m. outside the Portland Police Association offices in North Portland, August 5, 2020 (PPB)

A short time later, a group of protesters breached the doors of the Portland Police Association building. While inside, some set a fire and caused other damage — prompting the police to declare a riot around 1 a.m.

Three people were arrested on various charges: Lisa Webb, 28, faces riot, disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer; Isaac Martin, 31,faces attempted assault of a public safety officer and interfering with a police officer; and Carlton Smith, 47, interfering with a police officer.

Some crowd control munitions were used, but the PPB said no CS gas was deployed.

The crowd dispersed by around 3:30 a.m.

At about 11:30 p.m., a pickup approached the road barricade set up by protesters and slowed down. Someone on a motorcycle approached the driver, then laid their motorcycle down in front of the pickup. The driver immediately sped forward, pushing the motorcycle with it as sparks flew, and plowed through a chain-link fence blocking the road.

The driver “was interviewed and released without charges,” police said.

Earlier in the night, a small group congregated outside the Justice Center in downtown Portland while the majority of demonstrators met at Peninsula Park in North Portland for a march. After some uncertainty as to where the group would march, the participants voted to march to the Portland Police Association building on North Lombard Street.

In late June, a march from the same park ended up at the Portland Police Association on North Lombard, where police declared a riot, deployed tear gas and arrested more than two dozen people.

Upon reaching their destination Tuesday night, some in the crowd proceeded to drag a dumpster into the street and light it on fire. Others set debris on fire and pushed it against the PPA building, only for some to dismantle the pile and extinguish the flames. Portland police did not engage the crowd but tweeted that there was “criminal activity” occurring in the area and asked peaceful protesters to leave.

Around 12:30 a.m., there was a fight near Lombard and Denver, a silver sedan sped around in a circle in the street, and gunshots rang out. Portland Police were quickly on scene to investigate, though they encountered a hostile crowd when they arrived. No one was found to be hurt.

The riot was declared about an hour later once a group of protesters breached the PPA building, causing damage and setting fire to the building. The majority of the crowd had left the area by 3:30 a.m.

Crowd sizes at the nightly demonstrations have dwindled since federal officers pulled back last week. Monday night saw clashes between crowds and police on both sides of the river, though.

Police arrested two people after declaring an unlawful assembly near the Penumbra Kelly Building on East Burnside. In downtown Portland, police also detained a 15-year-old boy after reports that someone was pointing a handgun at people. It turned out to be a realistic-looking pellet gun. They also seized a knife and metal knuckles, police said.

Timeline of Events: August 4, 2020

3:30 a.m.

The majority of the crowd had left the area by 3:30 a.m., according to police.

1:00 a.m.

Just before 1:30 a.m., protesters breached the Portland Police Association office and entered the building. Some set fire to the building and caused other damage, prompting Portland Police to declare the protest at North Lombard and North Campbell Avenue a riot. The crowd was told to leave immediately. Officers said if protesters did not leave the scene, they could be arrested or subject to use of crowd control munitions.

12:30 a.m.

Several shots rang out on North Mobile Avenue shortly before 12:30 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered a car had been struck.

About 15 minutes later, KOIN 6 News witnessed some sort of fight in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on North Lombard Street. It spilled into the street and a silver sedan spun around, tires squealing. There were three loud pops. Demonstrators said someone fired into the air.

Officers arrived on scene moments later to investigate. Many people in the crowd were hostile toward officers, chanting, “We don’t need you.” Police say no one would speak to officers about the incident. When police left, some demonstrators threw objects at them, prompting police to launch flash bangs and smoke.

12 a.m.

Portland police declared an unlawful assembly at North Lombard and North Campbell Avenue near the PPA building and ordered all protesters to disperse to the west. They reported some protesters were throwing projectiles at the officers.

11:20 p.m.

A pickup approached a fence taken by protesters and erected across North Lombard and a motorcyclist dropped their motorcycle in front of the pickup. The pickup driver sped up, pushing the motorcycle, and plowed through the fence and took off up the street, sparks flying.

Afterward, some people parked vehicles in the street and dragged more fences and the charred dumpster into the street to block traffic.

10:30 p.m.

Portland police say some people have tried to break into the PPA building. Police warned those engaged in “criminal activity” to “stop now or you may be cited, arrested, or subject to use of force.” They urged peaceful protesters to leave the area.

10 p.m.

A dumpster has been set ablaze in the middle of North Lombard Street outside of the Portland Police Association building.

Portland police tweeted for traffic to avoid the area of North Lombard Street and North Campbell Avenue.

9 p.m.

The group that gathered at Peninsula Park has voted to march to the Portland Police Association building on North Lombard Street.

8 p.m.

At least 150 people have gathered at Peninsula Park in North Portland for a planned march. The destination of the march is unknown at this time.

Kid-centered march

Teachers, parents and children joined a kid-centered march for Black lives that started at Sunnyside School in Southeast Portland. Organizers said they hope the movement has an impact on younger generations.

“If they are Black children — a deeper understanding that they are loved, they are seen, they are cared about and the whole world is behind them,” said organizer Destiny Houston.

“It’s something we’ve known for a long time and this summer’s it’s more clear than ever how crucial it is that we are standing behind our Black community members,” said Elizabeth Thiel with the Portland Association of Teachers.

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