Portland Police declared a riot on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death on a night when law enforcement made several arrests after windows were smashed and fires were fired lit as people walked through town, authorities said.
A crowd of around 200 gathered outside the Multnomah County Justice Center on Tuesday evening.
Portland Police tweeted that the group was chanting “Burn the building” and that a garbage can fire had been started and pushed towards the building.
Alex Zielinski, from Portland Mercury News, tweeted that the crowd sometimes chanted “every town, every town, burn the enclosure to the ground!” It added that “the vast majority of over 100 people here are dressed in black.”
When the crowd saw policemen watching them from the roof of the justice center, some of them mentionned “F ** k you, rooftop cops.”
Law enforcement officials said they told the crowd that if they engaged in criminal activity and arson, they would be subject to “arrest and the use of force.”
“It is now an illegal gathering”, police say wrote at 9:25 p.m. local time. They went on to say that frozen water bottles and eggs were thrown at officers, adding that some in the crowd had put metal spikes in the road.
Mrs Zielinski wrote: “Several demonstrators throw water bottles at the police line. If the story serves me well, that’s enough for the officers to fire impact munitions at people.
Just before 10 p.m., the police mentionned the crowd had marched to the town hall and smashed the windows, writing that they had told the group that a riot had been declared at 9:57 p.m.
At 10:15 p.m., the police mentionned the crowd “wandered through the city center, blocked the streets and smashed the windows.”
Shortly after 11 p.m., the police mentionned “Targeted arrests” were made.
The Oregonian reported that protesters later smashed windows at Starbucks cafes, a jeweler, a credit union and a steak house.
Another protest held earlier today included a rally at Revolution Hall in southeast Portland. The protest also included a march and a silent sit-in on Burnside Bridge.
The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020, sparked protests for racial justice across the country. Numerous media reported that the protests were the largest in US history.
Protests in Portland after Mr. Floyd’s murder lasted for more than 100 consecutive nights. Former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder on April 20.
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