PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police declared a riot for the second night in a row Tuesday after a crowd of about 100 people set out on another “direct action” march from Kenton Park to the Portland Police Association office — where fires were quickly ignited.
Portland police said the group walked through Kenton and blocked traffic at North Lombard and Denver, which is where the PPA building is located. By 10 p.m., someone in the group had lit a fire directly next to the building in a garbage can, police said. Court documents show a neighbor put out that fire with a garden hose. Others reportedly shot fireworks toward the building. Large fireworks were also reportedly launched toward aircraft flying overhead.
Police said one person used an unknown accelerant on the wooden frame of a door to the building, igniting a fire that was much larger and consumed part of the building’s exterior. Firefighters with Portland Fire & Rescue were quick to respond and extinguish the flames.
The fire is estimated to have done $25,000 in damage, according to the PPB.
Police said they issued multiple announcements to clear the roadway and stay off PPA property. Police declared a riot about 10 minutes after the group arrived at the office building, citing criminal activity and the danger the fires were posing to the surrounding neighborhood. The crowd was told to get out of the streets and to disperse to the north.
One person, identified as 19-year-old Alma Raven-Guido, was arrested for their alleged involvement with the second, larger fire. Police said they confiscated bottles full of suspected accelerant and lighters, along with a crowbar, spray paint and a heavy marker from Raven-Guido. Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt charged Raven-Guido with second-degree arson, first-degree criminal mischief and felony riot. Schmidt said Raven-Guido is also being prosecuted for one count of felony riot for a separate incident that took place during an unlawful assembly on Aug. 25, 2020.
After the arrest was made, police said many people in the crowd returned to Kenton Park and appeared to get into cars and leave. In total, the incident lasted less than 30 minutes.
The same organizers who called for the action on Monday tweeted for an event Tuesday night. People were urged to gather at 8 p.m. at Kenton Park and then move an hour later. And once again organizers wanted “no streamers, no megaphones, no peace police.”
In response to the two nights of rioting, PPB Chief Chuck Lovell commended the efforts of his officers.
“The last 2 nights our officers and staff have demonstrated excellence and professionalism while responding to direct action events that have turned into riots,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “I am proud of their efforts and courage during these dangerous and unpredictable situations. We appreciate our partners [Portland Fire and Rescue] and [Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications] for their help with these challenging circumstances.”
Daryl Turner, the President of the Portland Police Association, also issued a statement regarding the riot at the PPA building. In the statement, he acknowledged that the rioters had splintered off from a group of about 100 protesters who did remain peaceful.
“Although the door was not breached, the fire damaged the entry door, ceiling and walls. A neighbor was seen attempting to put the fire out with a garden hose prior to the arrival of the fire department. Arson investigators were on the scene last night and one arrest was made,” Turner said. “Thankfully, there were no injuries, no one was inside the building at the time of the fire, and the neighboring homes were spared damage.”
PPB said these events “historically included wanton destruction of public and private property, violence and the active threat of harm by thrown or propelled objects, fire and impact weapons. Similarly advertised events promoted and then engaged in arson and riots.”
Because of its proximity to the Kenton neighborhood, previous riots — including Monday — targeted the Portland Police Association office, the North Precinct and disrupted major arteries in North Portland.
No one was arrested during Monday’s riot, but authorities said the ongoing investigation may lead to arrests later.
The reason organizers called for the direct action is “Justice for Daunte Wright,” the 20-year-old shot to death in a Minneapolis suburb by a police officer during a traffic stop. Both the police chief and the officer who fired the fatal shot have resigned.
Wright was shot not far from where former officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd last May.