• Search

Activists Demand Investigation Into Portland Police For Actually Arresting Rioters

Portland, OR – Rioters attacked Portland police with full beer cans, rocks, and other projectiles after smashing out windows and damaging property on Friday night.

The chaos kicked off at approximately 9 p.m., when a mob of about 100 rioters started blocking traffic while marching from Jamison Park, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release on Saturday.

PPB used a loudspeaker to warn the mob not to block the roadway, but their requests were ignored.

Within 15 minutes, members of the group started smashing out windows, prompting the PPB to create a perimeter around them on Northwest Marshall Street between Northwest 14th Avenue and Northwest 13th Avenue, the department said.

“The group was advised that they were being detained for investigation of crimes, they were not free to leave, and they should comply with officers’ lawful orders,” the PPB noted.

Officers warned the mob they could be subject to impact weapons, tear gas, and crowd control agents if they refused to comply, and urged members of the press, legal observers and anyone who was “medically fragile” to leave the enclosed area, according to the press release.

Police proceeded to identify and photograph those detained at the scene.

“Some refused to comply and locked arms together in an effort to interfere with the investigation,” the PPB said. “Officers escorted them away and they were arrested.”

Police also arrested a suspect accused of smashing out windows.

Members of the mob left behind a slew of weapons as they were processed out of the cordoned-off area, to include knives, a high-impact slingshot, a “slugging weapon with rocks,” hammers, a crowbar, and bear spray, according to the PPB.

Meanwhile, a group of rioters gathered outside the perimeter and began hurling full beer cans and rocks at police, the department said.

Officers deployed pepper spray and discharged one impact munition as they arrested their attackers.

At least two of the 13 rioters arrested were carrying firearms and wearing helmets and body armor, according to the PPB.

Three civil rights groups – the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Oregon, the Oregon Justice Resource Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon – released a statement Saturday demanding U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland launch an investigation into the PPB over the rioters’ arrests, FOX News reported.

“Under the authority of Mayor and Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Chuck Lovell, what PPB did last night — kettling — is an aggressive and indiscriminate police tactic of surrounding and boxing in a group of people and blocking off all exit points,” the groups alleged.

“Both the Oregon Justice Resource Center and ACLU of Oregon are currently representing clients in federal lawsuits against PPB’s use of the kettling tactic against anti-Trump protesters in 2017,” they continued. “In neither case has the court approved of or found constitutional this abusive tactic.”

Wheeler and other city leaders and elected officials spoke out against the violent “anarchists” on Monday, according to the Associated Press.

“The community is sick and tired of people engaging in criminal destruction and violence and doing it under the guise of some noble cause,” the mayor declared during a press conference.

Rioters also attacked the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse again over the weekend, resulting in security fencing being re-installed around the building, FOX News reported.

The fence, which was originally put up back in June of 2020 to protect the building from violent mobs, was taken down last week “as part of a broader effort to help the city return to normalcy,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told FOX News.

Within hours, rioters tried to set the federal courthouse on fire, the PPB said in a press release.

An officer was punched in the face during the mayhem that ensued.

A video from the scene showed members of the antifa group as they tried to force their way into the building and banged on the glass doors and windows of the lobby.

“F—k the United States!” they yelled. “You’re f—king weak! Come outside…you don’t f—kin’ scare me, b—h!”

Other rioters set fire to the building and smashed out windows.

Federal Protective Services (FPS) officers spent about two hours putting out fires and pushing the mob away from the building, KOIN reported.

They deployed tear gas, smoke bombs, flash-bang grenades, and used other less-lethal munitions during the violent uprising, and arrested or detained an unknown number of rioters, according to The Oregonian.

PPB Deputy Chief Chris Davis said residents should try to ignore rioters if they come to their area, and suggested they try to take photos or videos of them to give to police, KOIN reported.

“With this group, this is a small group that is bent on destroying things. And what they want is a conflict. My advice is — don’t give them a conflict,” Chief Davis suggested.

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.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."