PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police declared a riot Monday night in Northeast Portland when about 200 people dressed in black shot off fireworks, set fires and caused a lot of damage outside the Penumbra Kelly Building along East Burnside.
The demonstration is in response to the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Many in the crowd called for the abolition of police. The Portland Police Bureau claims people in the crowd fired ball bearings from wrist rockets at them, along with rocks, pieces of concrete, bricks, bottles and fireworks.
PPB officers created a visible barrier around the building with yellow tape, but people from the crowd removed the tape and later set off a dumpster fire outside the property.
About 10 or 12 windows were smashed on the front side of the building and some rioters tried to break into the front doors of the Penumbra Kelly building. Officers say the building suffered significant damage.
Members of the crowd also smashed the front entrance of the First Covenant Church on NE 45th Avenue and East Burnside Street. The crowd blocked all traffic on East Burnside Street.
Just before 10 p.m., officers deployed flashbangs toward the crowd. About 20 minutes later, police began moving the crowd away from the building and west on East Burnside. Around this time, neighbors in the area reported thefts from yards in the area, specifically rocks and landscaping bricks the rioters used as weapons.
While rioters were focused on the Penumbra Kelly building, other vandals cut through a chain-link fence of a parking lot on North Philadelphia Avenue. While at the parking lot, rioters broke windows and slashed tires of several police vehicles.
When officers got to the parking lot around 9:45 p.m., the suspects had already fled. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact PPB and reference case 21-98404.
By 10:35 p.m., officers say they “disengaged” as the rioters largely dispersed. The PPB said crowds did not return afterward.
Ultimately, no arrests were made. However, investigations following the riot may lead to arrests, as they have in the past.
The direct action demonstration started with a vigil at Laurelhurst Park at 6 p.m. The group started marching at 8 p.m. Organizers promoted the event on Twitter emphasizing “no streamers, no megaphones, no peace police.”
There was another separate vigil with speakers earlier in the evening at Salmon Street Fountain in downtown Portland.
Many pleaded with the crowd to take action against police brutality.
“I definitely believe in defunding and the abolition of police – the money, the funds, they should go to these people, the communities,” said Leah Hartzell.