Portland police declare riot as officers push protesters from building

Portland police declare riot as officers push protesters from building
Portland Protests

A riot was declared in Oregon’s biggest city as protesters demonstrated outside a law enforcement building early on Sunday, continuing a nightly ritual in Portland.

Officers used crowd control munitions to disperse the gathering outside the Penumbra Kelly building, news outlets reported.

Protesters had thrown rocks, bottles and other objects at officers, police said on Twitter. The department also said security cameras had been spray painted and other vandalism occurred.

The actions came after what started as a peaceful protest, with demonstrators chanting “take it to the streets”.

There was also rally by a small group of alt-right demonstrators who traded paint balls and pepper spray with counter-protesters.

About 30 people were participating in the Patriot Prayer rally in front of the Multnomah County Justice Centre. Several were armed with automatic weapons, KOIN-TV reported.

The group clashed with counter-protesters through central streets, and some counter-protesters blocked the exit of a garage where several Patriot Prayer members had parked.

A KOIN photojournalist reported hearing at least two gunshots at the garage. Police said in a statement that “a person allegedly fired a gun”. Lieutenant Greg Pashley told the Oregonian/OregonLive that the department would investigate.

Earlier on Saturday, police said they had made four arrests overnight as they dispersed a protest that was heading towards the offices of the police union.

The bureau declared the demonstration of a couple hundred people an unlawful assembly on Friday night, saying people were throwing fireworks, golf balls and chunks of concrete at officers. Police said they used crowd control munitions but no tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Demonstrations, often violent, have happened nightly in Portland for more than two months following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Participants have repeatedly broken into the offices of the Portland Police Association, vandalised them and set fires.

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