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Portland Rioters Storm Justice Center, Attack Deputies With Urine And Projectiles

Portland, OR – Hundreds of rioters descended on downtown Portland over the weekend and proceeded to smash windows, hurl objects at police, and discuss plans to burn down the Multnomah County Justice Center.

The chaos began at approximately 7 p.m. on Nov. 19, when a motorist called the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) to report that a group of rioters blocking Southwest Main Street near Southwest 2nd Avenue had busted out the window of his vehicle, the PPB said in a press release.

Dozens of rioters subsequently converged on the Justice Center on Southwest 2nd Avenue and began focusing their attention on one of the building’s roll-up security gates, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) said in a press release.

“Some individuals in the crowd were heard saying ‘burn it down,’ referring to the Justice Center,” the MCSO noted.

The mob managed to open the gate and a group of 10 to 20 rioters flooded “down the ramp in the direction of the jail entrance and the building’s critical infrastructure,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Rioters propped the gate open with large tree branches.

Meanwhile, deputies made their way up the ramp and headed off the rioter’s advance into the building, ordering them to get out.

“The crowd, which was described as hostile, launched urine, alcoholic beverages, water bottles and batteries at deputies during the event,” the MCSO said. “Because a large group of people were engaging in tumultuous and violent conduct, and further entry into the building would have posed significant implications and grave risk of causing public alarm, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) declared a riot.”

At the sheriff’s office’s direction, the PPB mobile command unit put out the riot declaration and force warnings multiple times using the mobile sound truck.

The rioters continued to hurl projectiles at deputies as they tried to block the mob from entering the Justice Center, according to the MCSO.

“Demonstrators then stood at the garage exit, repeatedly preventing the gate from closing by pushing on it. Again, deputies asked the crowd to step away,” the sheriff’s office said.

The rioters ignored their repeated commands and continued to block the gate, so the deputies “swiftly moved toward the demonstrators that were preventing the gate from closing to allow space for the gate to close properly,” according to the MCSO.

The deputies were then able to retreat back into the Justice Center and were eventually able to secure the gate once again.

They did not make any arrests.

Rioters also spray-painted anti-police messages on the outside of the Justice Center, the PPB said in the press release.

Meanwhile, rioters in the area of Southwest 1st Avenue and Southwest 2nd Avenue bashed out the windows of a city print shop and shattered the back hatch window of a PPB sergeant’s patrol vehicle, police said.

Rioters damaged doors to city buildings and tagged the PPB Central Precinct with graffiti, KOIN reported.

They lit trash on fire in the streets and tore down construction signs and fencing used to barricade the roadway.

The PPB made two arrests in the midst of the mayhem, but neither arrest appeared to be linked to the riot itself.

Elly Starling, 27, was arrested on an outstanding warrant, according to the PPB’s press release.

Alan Bordeaux, 44, was arrested for allegedly shining a laser at a police air support unit.

“He was not near the riot and there is no indication his actions were related to it, but resources had to be diverted to address the immediate danger to the police aircraft,” the PPB noted.

Officers also issued five citations and 17 warnings to suspects who were in the vicinity of the riot.

The mob had largely dispersed by 11 p.m., KOIN reported.

PPB Chief Chuck Lovell had previously indicated the PPB was prepping up for potential rioting Friday in the wake of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal in Wisconsin earlier in the day.

Chief Lovell said Friday it was “reasonable to expect there will be some type of reaction to the verdict,” KOIN reported.

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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