PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 100th night of protests against police brutality quickly accelerated into a riot in Southeast Portland on Saturday, with at least two people injured and 59 people arrested, including 16 by the Oregon State Police.
A rally and direction action march was organized for Ventura Park Saturday evening. Similar to previous nights, people gathered in the park before deciding on a destination to march to between 8 and 9 p.m. Demonstrators were still in the park when the Portland Police Bureau started making announcements over the LRAD, telling people a march was not permitted and they needed to stay in the park.
The group of a few hundred people decided to march down Stark Street toward the East Portland Community Policing Center, where they were met by a line of officers.
“It was clear that the intent of the crowd was not peaceful protest,” police officials said. “Therefore officers were positioned in such a way that prevented the march from reaching East Precinct.”
The standoff did not last long before someone threw what authorities characterized as a Molotov cocktail. Minutes later, police declared a riot.
In a statement on Twitter, police said at least one person was injured from the Molotov cocktail, which created a fire in the middle of the street. That person was later taken to the hospital by a private car, officials later said.
Tear gas, pepper balls, and other crowd-control munitions were used to push people out of the area. Multiple arrests were made, however, it is unclear how many in total and for what charges.
People remained at Ventura Park and began throwing rocks, fireworks and mortars at police. At least one person used a “wrist-rocket” slingshot to launch objects, authorities said in a statement.
Tear gas and other crowd-control munitions were used and “targeted” arrests of more than 50 people were made. At least two of those arrested were wearing body armor.
Rioters continued to “meander through the Mill Park community” for about 4 more hours but weren’t able to get to the East Precinct. Dumpsters, garbage cans and wooden pallets were set on fire.
A police sergeant was hit with a commercial grade firework, which burned his glove and injured his hand. Other officers were hit in the head, arms, shoulders and feet, officials said. An Oregon State Police car was damaged by rocks.
59 arrested by PPB, OSP
PPB arrested 43 people, including 6 who were cited and released and 2 juveniles. Most of those arrested are from the Portland metro area, but at least 4 are from out-of-state: Washington, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Another 6 are listed as having an “unknown residence.”
Everyone arrested faces multiple charges, including 29 who are charged with riot.
Other charges include assaulting an officer, arson, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, interfering with an officer and criminal mischief.
At least 4 people have previously been arrested during protests: Sara Rider (twice), John Alger (three times), Simona Arteaga (three times) and Alaric Dinh (twice.)
The 6 people cited and released face disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer charges.
Both juveniles face multiple charges, including riot. A 17-year-old was released to a parent while a 15-year-old remains in custody on an outstanding warrant.
The names of the 16 people arrested by the Oregon State Police have not yet been released.
Tupac Leahy, a 23-year-old Black man from Portland, said he had probably been out to protests for about 70 of the 100 days of demonstrations.
Leahy said he wanted to see a significant reduction to the local police budget, with the money directed to other community needs. He said the demonstrations would continue for some time.
“I think it’s going to keep going on until the election,” Leahy said. “I don’t see it slowing down.”
Chelsea Jordan, 30, of Portland, said: “I feel the people here have a lot of heart and a lot of commitment.”
Jordan was helping spray yellow paint on cutouts to mark the names of Black people killed by police.
“I want to keep at it until the full abandonment of the police, so I think it’s going to be a long fight,” she said.
Earlier Saturday, there were two simultaneous sit-in events on Portland’s east side: One at Lents Park and one at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary.
A PDX Car Caravan event for Black Lives Matter began around 2 p.m. at Portland Community College Cascades Campus.
Other Black Lives Matter events were also scheduled on Portland’s west side beginning this evening. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square was a nonviolent protest put on by Portland United for Justice and Equality. At Tom McCall Waterfront Park from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. was an event called Say Their Names: Vigil to Honor the Last 100 Black Lives Taken by Police.
And in Vancouver, the home base for Patriot Prayer and leader Joey Gibson, a memorial vigil was held for Aaron Danielson at Esther Short Park, who was shot to death at a Portland protest on August 29.
The Associated Press contributed to this report