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6 Officers Wounded, Police Union Building Burned During Weekend Riots In Portland

Portland, OR – At least 49 rioters were arrested during a slew of violent attacks in downtown Portland over the weekend.

An Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper was injured when one of the rioters bashed him in the head with a large rock on Friday night, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release.

Three more officers were injured when they came under attack on Saturday night, and another two officers were hurt after a rioter fired a mortar at them on Sunday, according to police.

The mortar struck one of the officers in her face, partially melting her facemask and leaving burns on her neck, the PPB said.

The mob smashed in a window at the Police Protective Association (PPA) on Saturday night and ignited a fire inside, according to police.

It was the third time rioters had forced their way into the PPA building, and the second time they had started a fire inside the office since the violent nightly uprisings began over 10 weeks ago.

A crowd of at least 200 people were “escorted” by “support vehicles” that helped to block traffic as they marched from Laurelhurst Park to the Penumbra Kelly Building on East Burnside Street on Friday night, PPB said.

Several people wore gas masks, helmets, and carried shields.

As they approached the building, police warned them to stay off of the property or they would be arrested for trespass.

Several demonstrators ignored them and remained on the property, at which point the officers began taking them into custody.

Nearby rioters attacked police with rocks as they were making the arrests, while others blocked traffic, according to PPB.

The gathering was declared an unlawful assembly and police ordered the mobs to disperse, but they refused.

Rioters began dismantling a concrete retaining wall near the Kelly Building just after 10 p.m., then hurled the chunks of cement at police.

Members of the group also shined lasers at the officers, “which can cause permanent eye damage,” PPB said.

This behavior continued for approximately two more hours before the mob began launching “frozen or hardboiled eggs” and commercial grade fireworks at police, according to PPB.

Rioters also placed nail-filled “pool noodles” on the roadway in an effort to damage police vehicle tires.

One patrol vehicle suffered “extensive tire damage” due to the homemade spike strips, PPB said.

Officers dispersed the crowd twice before a majority of the group left the area around 2:30 a.m.

Minutes later, someone called 911 to report that “bombs” were going off at Laurelhurst Park, PPB said in another press release.

Witnesses denied having heard any explosions, but “videos of what appears to be some kind of explosive device and an explosion in the park” showed up on social media several hours later, according to PPB.

PPB arson investigators asked that anyone with information about the purported bomb contact them.

Twenty-four people were arrested during the overnight mayhem, according to the press release.

Multiple mass gatherings occurred in Portland on Saturday night.

Police said that two of the marches were peaceful and did not require any intervention.

A third group of several hundred people gathered at Peninsula Park and began marching to the PPA building just before 10 p.m., according to a police press release.

“As the group marched towards the PPA office, support vehicles escorted them, illegally blocking all other vehicle traffic,” PPB said.

Police warned the mob not to do anything illegal, at which point the crowd promptly “erected a fence, pushed dumpsters into the street to block traffic, set a dumpster on fire, vandalized the PPA office with spray paint, and destroyed security cameras,” according to the press release.

Security footage showed rioters as they shattered the window of the PPA office and set the building ablaze.

Police immediately declared a riot and ordered the hostile crowd to leave the area.

PPB and OSP officer were constantly attacked with paint-filled balloons, glass bottles, lasers and various projectiles as they pushed the mob out of the closed-off area.

Nine people were arrested during the overnight riot.

The crowd reconvened on Sunday night and began marching from Kenton Park towards the PPA at approximately 9:30 p.m., PPB said in another press release.

Police noted that the PPA is located in a residential neighborhood.

“When the march reached the PPA, Portland Police made sound truck announcements to the crowd warning them not engage in criminal activities such as vandalism or attempting to set the building on fire,” according to the press release.

Despite warnings that they would be subject to tear gas and control munitions, the crowd barricaded streets with fencing and dumpsters “within 3 minutes,” PPB said.

They also ignited a fire in the middle of the street in front of the PPA, forcing an ambulance heading to a medical call to reroute.

When police declared an unlawful assembly, rioters started attacking them with eggs and commercial grade fireworks.

“Due to the direct attacks on officers, a riot was declared at 10:10 p.m.,” PPB said.

One smaller group headed back over to the PPA building, where they were again warned to disperse before several arrests were ultimately made.

Police subsequently left the area “in an effort to deescalate,” but members of the group responded by blocking Lombard Street with fencing, dumpsters, and small fires, according to PPB

They eventually dispersed on their own.

A total of 16 rioters were arrested during the rioting on Sunday night.

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Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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