PORTLAND, OR– On Saturday night, a group of demonstrators marched into the Portland Police Association building by breaking in the front doors and once inside started a fire.
According to authorities, crowds of people gathered throughout Portland for various demonstrations that were taking place on Saturday evening. One of those groups began at Peninsula Park and marched to the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct.
Police said that around 8:35 pm, hundreds of people gathered on the south side of the precinct in a parking lot. Some people in the crowd took it upon themselves to tamper with gates, break patrol vehicle windows, and vandalize patrol cars.
Other members of the crowd taunted officers as they were arriving for their scheduled shifts.
According to FOX12, police said that people in cars and on bikes had blocked the streets surrounding the precinct. About an hour later, around 9:30 pm, police gave public address announcements telling people to leave and to go west.
About another hour later, around 10:30 pm, the large crowd walked to the area of North Lombard Street and North Campbell Avenue, where the Portland Police Association (PPA) offices are located.
The Portland Police union in north Portland was broken into and set on fire by antifa rioters. A riot has been declared. pic.twitter.com/kp9JucufA3
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 19, 2020
Rioters began to break in the front doors of the office, while at the same time others blocked North Lombard Street with dumpsters that they had set on fire.
Portland Police respond as people break in and ignite fire in Portland Police Association office in North Portland (Photo) https://t.co/mrQ0DeJT6G pic.twitter.com/iK1J0hQLJv
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 19, 2020
According to the police, many people in the crowd were wearing helmets and carried clubs and shields. Based off that description, it sounds like people in the crowd were ready for violence.
Fifteen minutes after they got to the PPA offices, around 10:45 pm, rioters broke into the building and lit a fire inside.
Far-left rioters in Portland attacked a federal officer last night during an arrest outside the Hatfield Courthouse, allowing the violent criminal suspect to escape. #antifa https://t.co/UGBvCvnoUu
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 21, 2020
According to reports, as officers arrived on scene, many people from the crowd fled to the east.
Due to the violent conduct of the large group creating a grave risk to public alarm, the police declared a riot.
Officers continued to move the crowd east and as the crowd dispersed, officers made several arrests. Officers were also able to put out the fire that was set inside of the building. Portland Police said that they did not use any CS gas when dispersing the crowds.
Protesters have drawn national attention after setting a fire inside the Portland Police Association building Saturday night.
Portland Police said around 10:45, protesters broke into the PPA's building and almost immediately started a fire…https://t.co/YkJ4zzGoa0 pic.twitter.com/6twZGbcquk
— Dennis Chighisola (@CoachChic) July 21, 2020
The crowd eventually scattered into the neighborhood and then a large number of people regrouped near North Interstate Avenue and North Lombard Street. Officers then moved the crowd to the south of North Interstate Avenue.
While police were moving the crowd, rioters threw rocks, gopher gassers, and paint-filled balloons at the officers. A few officers were injured from these harmful items.
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By about 11:30 pm, police said that the crowd was broken up into much smaller groups and order in that area of Portland was restored.
However, another large crowd had gathered downtown near the Justice Center and the Federal Courthouse. In this area, police said that people tore down fences around Chapman Square Park and Lownside Square Park.
The mob has gotten out of control, and our businesses, our institutions, and our history are getting dragged into the riot riptide.
Read my new op-ed in @WSJopinion on how we take our cities back.https://t.co/Mh72x4CmM7
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) July 22, 2020
Rioters also removed fencing that was around the Federal Courthouse and used it to barricade doors. Fences were also moved in front of the west and north doors to the Justice Center. At some point, federal officers came out to address the crowd as many of the Portland Police officers were working in north Portland at the time.
According to authorities, a bonfire was also lit in the ruins of the elk statue base, and other small fires lit in garbage cans and in the streets.
U.S. House Democratic leaders are asking for federal inspectors general to investigate the Trump administration's use of federal law enforcement agencies against protesters in Portland, Oregon, and other cities. https://t.co/i2BnZjjDdF
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 20, 2020
At times throughout the night, rioters gathered on the east side of the Justice Center, blocking the gate to the jail and banging loudly on the lobby doors. The crowd remained in the area for several more hours.
According to a release from the Portland Police Bureau, around 12:30 am, the group began shooting commercial grade fireworks and smoke bombs towards the Justice Center near the barricaded doors on the south side of the building.
The Portland Police Association suffered broken windows and a small fire on Saturday, July 18, 2020, the 52nd consecutive night of protests in Portland. pic.twitter.com/ra8e8J4A0h
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) July 20, 2020
The group was also using the fence to block traffic on Southwest Madison Street. Portland Police gave announcement from the sound truck to stop barricading the doors, but people continued to do it. At 1:33 am, an unlawful assembly was declared due to the threat of life, including to those inside of the Justice Center and Federal buildings.
While dispersing the crowds, officers took projectiles such as glass bottles, rocks, and broken pieces of metal from the fencing. After finally dispersing the crowd to the west, officers were able to disengage.
Timeline of Portland Riots At Hatfield Federal Courthouse and DHS’s Response ?https://t.co/1avqsLOE7b
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) July 21, 2020
According to the police bureau, one Portland police officer suffered minor injuries during the chaos and mayhem on Friday night.
While politicians continue to condemn the officers themselves but encourage these “peaceful protests,” officers are putting themselves in harms way night after night as Portland has seen over 50 consecutive nights of rioting, with no end in sight.
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