US Police Precinct Set on Fire as Protesters Pelt Cops With Rocks in Portland

Published August 25th, 2020 - 07:12 GMT
A protester holds his fist in the air during a protest against racial injustice and police brutality early in the morning on August 23, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Nathan Howard / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP
A protester holds his fist in the air during a protest against racial injustice and police brutality early in the morning on August 23, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Nathan Howard / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP
Highlights
An unlawful assembly was declared before officers declared the gathering was a riot.

A police precinct was set on fire and protesters pelted cops with rocks and bottles during a protest in Portland last night prompting authorities to declare a riot and deploy tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. 

Footage from the scene shows a fire burning an awning at the north precinct late Sunday night and protesters chanting 'burn baby burn' while police tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.  

Police ordered demonstrators to clear the area, saying that rocks and glass bottles had been thrown at officers, as well as lasers pointed their direction. 

Further clips show police in riot gear marching towards the scene of the gathering.

An unlawful assembly had been declared before the gathering was deemed a riot. Tear gas is said to have been launched after the fire was started, not before.  

In a tweet, Portland Police wrote: 'Criminal Activity has continued. This event is now a RIOT. 

'All persons must leave to the SOUTH. Failure to adhere to this direction may subject you to citation, arrest, and/or crowd control agents including, but not limited to, tear gas and impact weapons.' 

The department later tweeted: 'Stop attacking officers.' 


Protesters had marched to the precinct from a park, chanting several things including 'Jacob Blake,' who Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers identified as the man shot by a police officer in Kenosha on Sunday. Authorities in Wisconsin had not confirmed the person's name.

Violent demonstrations have gripped Portland for months, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Early Sunday police forced protesters away from a law enforcement building, as efforts to stop the demonstrators from gathering at the building seemingly fell apart.

The protesters apparently had plans Saturday night to march from a park to the Penumbra Kelly public safety building, news outlets reported. 

But, a standoff between marchers and officers took place on a bridge along the way - and the demonstrators retreated.

Protesters appear to have returned to the park, and then taken cars to the building. 

Police initially declared an unlawful assembly, saying items had been thrown at officers, green lasers had been pointed at officers and a support airplane and paintball guns had been fired.

The gathering was later declared a riot. Officers had been hit with rocks, bottles and other objects, police said. 

Numerous officers reported seeing people with some type of 'press' identification throwing rocks at them, authorities said.

The unrest followed rival protests Saturday afternoon. Federal authorities forced demonstrators away from a plaza near a federal building as dueling demonstrations by right-wing and left-wing protesters turned violent.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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