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Rioters Launch Explosives At Federal Officers Outside ICE Building In Portland

Portland, OR – Rioters attacked federal officers with explosives and shoved a blazing dumpster into the street outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building on Wednesday night.

The mayhem kicked off just before 10 p.m., when a large group assembled in the 4300-block of South Macadam Avenue and started moving barriers and construction cones into the roadway to block traffic, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release.

About a half hour later, the rioters set a dumpster on fire and shoved it into the middle of Bancroft Street in front of the ICE building, police said.

Federal officers headed outside to push the mob away in order to make room for Portland Fire and Rescue to respond.

Video footage showed fireworks exploding around the officers as they worked to move the rioters away from the inferno.

They fired pepper-ball rounds and tear gas at the crowd during the chaos, according to the New York Post.

PPB officers showed up at approximately 11 p.m. to help the federal officers “in creating an area where Portland Fire and Rescue could safely arrive and extinguish the dumpster fire,” according to the press release.

Once the fire was out, the PPB cleared the scene.

Within 30 minutes, the mob started hurling “rock-like projectiles” at the federal officers, according to the press release.

“We showed up to create a safe space for the fire department to come in and put out the fire,” PPB spokesperson Melissa Newhard told the New York Post. “After that, we left the area and [Federal Protective Service agents] went outside again and started taking on projectiles.”

The PPB returned to the area and helped to disperse the crowd once again, according to the press release.

Portland police fired a single less-lethal munition while breaking up the mob.

They also ended up arresting 20-year-old Karl Nilsson on charges of attempted assault on a public safety officer, disorderly conduct, and riot, according to the press release.

According to reporter Andy Ngo, Nilsson was previously arrested during a riot last year for carrying a concealed weapon and other offenses.

Those charges were later dropped, Ngo said.

Nilsson was “quickly released without bail” after his arrest Wednesday night, according to Ngo.

A group of 50-60 rioters returned to the area shortly after the second dispersal and resumed their attack, hurling projectiles at the ICE building and blocking South Bancroft Street until approximately 12 a.m., police said.

No officers were injured during the attack, the New York Post reported.

Officer Newhard said the demonstration appeared to be planned in advance, but she refused to name the group responsible for organizing it, according to the paper.

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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