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Portland Rioters Attack Elderly People Trying To Stop Them From Burning Down Police Precinct

Portland, OR – Rioters attacked the Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) East Precinct for a second consecutive night on Thursday, to include ripping down thank-you notes police supporters had affixed to the building and using them to fuel a fire outside the precinct’s front doors.

In addition to assaulting police with commercial grade fireworks, large rocks, bottles, and paint, the mob also confronted elderly residents, severely injured a Portland police officer, and attempted to burn down the East Precinct yet again, the PPB said in a press release.

Several rioters had the word “press” affixed to their clothing, according to police.

Officers were dealing with three separate mass gatherings on Aug. 6 – a situation which has become commonplace during the past two months of nightly rioting in the downtown area.

Two of the groups spent several hours blocking traffic at the intersection of Southwest Main Street and Southwest Third Avenue, as well as a section of East Burnside Street, but the PPB “did not interact” with either of those groups before they ultimately dispersed on their own, according to the PPB.

A third group consisting of at least 200 people began gathering at Floyd Light Park at approximately 8 p.m., police said.

As they had the night prior, the mob blocked both lanes of traffic on Southeast 106th Avenue, then headed over to the PPB East Precinct.

“People in the group were wearing helmets and carrying shields,” a statement from PPB noted.

Police immediately began warning the mob “not to break into East Precinct or burn the building” like the rioters had attempted to do on Wednesday night.

The group responded by tearing down the security cameras located at the front doors and spray painting the building.

Other members of the group tossed cans of paint at the precinct.

“Two elderly community members attempted to stop the group from vandalizing the building with paint and were subsequently hit with the paint,” according to the PPB.

At 9:53 p.m. – just eight minutes after the mob left Floyd Light Park – police declared an unlawful assembly due to the crowd’s “ongoing criminal behavior…and harassing community members,” the release stated.

A bulk of the group ignored officer’s commands to move away from the precinct.

Minutes later, members of the crowd set a garbage can ablaze and shoved it up against the front of the building, police said.

“Several thank-you notes on blue hearts from community members which were affixed to the front of East Precinct were used as an accelerant for the garbage can fire,” according to the PPB.

An elderly woman intervened and attempted to put the fire out, but members of the group blocked her, police said.

Video footage showed the gray-haired woman as she briefly struggled to operate her fire extinguisher while the crowd heckled her.

“It’s the highlight of her life!” someone yelled, as the woman desperately tried to reach around a black-clad, masked rioter standing between her and the fire.

The rioters continued spray painting the precinct with graffiti and shined lasers at the remaining security cameras until Oregon State Police (OSP) arrived to help the PPB break up the crowd.

Several individuals with the word “press” affixed to their clothing shined lasers at the officers’ eyes and taunted them as they hit them with rocks and eggs, the PPB said.

The mob hurled various other projectiles at the officers, including paint, commercial grade fireworks, bottles, and heavy rocks.

Large rebar ties were tossed into the roadway in an effort to puncture the tires of police vehicles, resulting in several damaged patrol cars, police said.

Officers remained under attack as they pushed the crowd away from the precinct multiple times.

A group of approximately 100 people returned to the area of Southeast Washington Street and 106th Avenue, leading to yet another clash with officers, the PPB said.

Rioters wearing “press” on their clothing actively interfered with police as they attempted to disperse the crowd, resulting in police officially shutting down the area to everyone – including previously-exempt members of the press, according to police.

The PPB cited a section of city code in the press release, noting that it granted them the “authority to restrict access to certain areas.”

Police repeatedly ordered the crowd to leave and gave them “ample time” to disperse from the closed area, but “a majority of the group continued to violate the closure order,” according to the press release.

Officers dispersed the group yet again.

Several people were arrested due to the overnight mayhem, including a suspect armed with a loaded handgun, according to the PPB.

One officer was “severely” injured by a large rock thrown by one of the rioters, according to police.

A majority of the mob wandered off from the area by approximately 2:30 a.m., the PPB said.

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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Written by Holly Matkin


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