Vandals start fire near Justice Center in downtown Portland

Protests

Small group of vandals causing mayhem in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A few dozen people once again took to the streets of downtown Portland to damage property on Wednesday night.

The same organizers behind Tuesday’s mayhem in a small portion of downtown called for more of the same with a “direct action” event starting at Chapman Square Park. About 20 people gathered near the Justice Center and a fire was lit in the intersection of SW 3rd and Main around 8:30 p.m. Firefighters monitored the fire from a distance but it didn’t grow. A burn ban is in effect for Multnomah County due to dry weather.

Suspect dismantling crosswalk signal. (Courtesy: PPB)

Around 40 people dressed in black were in the area about an hour later, blocking traffic at SW 2nd and Main. Some people in the group spray-painted the walls of the Justice Center and pointed red lasers at the security cameras on the building, police said.

The group marched through downtown Portland at 10 p.m., damaging a crosswalk signal at SW 2nd and Madison. Police said there have been no other reports of damage and no arrests were made. The group dispersed about 30 minutes later.

Earlier in the day, Mayor Ted Wheeler extended Portland’s Emergency Declaration for another 24 hours following Tuesday night’s unlawful assembly.

“The police are doing everything they can to unmask, identify and hold accountable those who are hell-bent on breaking and burning things. That’s why you are seeing more targeted arrests,” Wheeler’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.

The mayor said they “will continue with those tactics and with ongoing collaboration with state and federal authorities.”

Acting PPB Chief Chris Davis said personnel will work extended shifts on Wednesday. And he addressed an assault captured on video.

“Last night an assault on one of our sergeants was reprehensible,” Davis said in a statement. “We ask for those who want to demonstrate to do so peacefully — breaking windows, lighting fires and assaulting others does not further any racial justice movement.”

At its peak Tuesday night, police estimated there were about 150 people who blocked roads in the area of the Hatfield Courthouse in the latest demonstration by anti-police protesters.

Police arrested two people after a large group marched through the streets and smashed windows of businesses — including multiple Starbucks locations.

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