Portland rioters attempt their own ‘autonomous zone’, torch police precinct while people inside

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PORTLAND, OR – There’s been reportedly another attempt at mimicking the antics and tactics of an “autonomous zone” in Portland – but this time it was something much more sinister and violent. Reports have come in that rioters did more than just vandalized city blocks, but that they attempted to set buildings ablaze.

While trying to set these fires, reports indicate that people were still inside of these buildings, including an occupied police precinct.

Police in Portland say that the riotous acts were prefaced by a gathering of protesters who congregated during the evening hours of June 25th at Fernhill Park, and then began marching toward the North Precinct at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Northeast Emerson Street.

By 10:00 p.m. of the 25th, any semblance of a peaceful demonstration was discarded and the heinous acts began.

Hundreds of individuals were said to have surrounded the police precinct, and began establishing barricades and fencing around the building. While many were creating a barricade around the police precinct, others were blocking traffic on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

This wasn’t like Seattle’s infamous police precinct that was abandoned: These rioters were working to block off all exits from the police precinct in Portland where officers and persons in custody were still inside.

By 11:00 p.m. on the 25th, more exits from the building were said to have been barricaded on the precinct. Roughly an hour later, calls from the riotous crowd were yelling that they intended to burn down the police precinct.

Rioters were said to have shot off fireworks toward the precinct, and the crowd of people were said to have been blatantly ignoring calls from police that had deemed the assembly to be unlawful. The fireworks progressed in their size, with officials saying that by 1:40 a.m. on the 26th that a mortar had been launched onto the precinct’s roof.

At approximately 2:15 a.m., the north side of the precinct had been set on fire.

Officers on site were utilizing crowd control methods to stifle the rioters and arsonists, deploying the likes of CS gas. Officials say that some among the crowd that had gathered were picking up the CS canisters deployed and throwing them back at officers.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Portions of the crowd were said to have moved on from the precinct to bring their terror to other businesses in the area, setting additional fires and engaging in looting by 3:00 a.m. on the 26th. Roughly 30 minutes afterward, police say that most of the crowd had dispersed.

Numerous officers were injured during the conflict that broke out in Portland, with one officer having been seriously injured and requiring hospital treatment. According to officials, this particular display was by far the most violent that the city has seen in recent weeks.

Of all the chaos that ensued during the riot, police were said to have taken four people into custody. Those arrested were as follows:

  • 33-year-old Joshua Shane Morris for interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest
  • 23-year-old Charles Randolph Comfort for rioting, second-degree disorderly conduct, assaulting a public safety officer, resisting arrest, and interfering with a peace officer
  • 22-year-old Olive Baldwin for rioting, resisting arrest and interfering with a peace officer
  • 24-year-old Tudela Jackson for rioting, second-degree disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and interfering with a peace officer

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler commented on the destruction that took place from the evening hours of the 25th that transitioned to the 26th, saying the following:

“What happened here is not helping bring about any meaningful change or reform. Last night was plainly and simply about arson. It was about destruction.”

The mayor forgot to mention the attempted murder of many officers and persons in custody.

The destructive and violent antics from the crowd comes on the heels of Mayor Wheeler’s calls from earlier in June to ban the use of tear gas against protesters. Perhaps what took place at the police precinct might change the tune that the mayor was singing weeks ago about crowd control methods.

The city’s police chief, Chuck Lovell, pointed out the criminal display that transpired, highlighting how those present made attempts to trap people inside of the police precinct while setting the building on fire:

“Last night’s violence — barricading doors of a building with people inside and then lighting it on fire — is reprehensible & immoral. The destruction in & around North Precinct and the Justice Center are senseless criminal acts & costing money that could go to restorative programs.”

That’s nice. How about we tell rioters that the behavior will not be tolerated? How about instead of simply yelling at rioters on bullhorns, you take action to ensure the safety of your officers and law-abiding citizens?

After a month of demonstrations turning into riots, maybe the political correctness of how these crowds are addressed will subside.

At least one would hope.


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