Another demonstration in Portland, OR was declared a riot by the Portland police late Sunday night after police were attacked with thrown objects reported Fox News. Fires were also set near Portland’s North Precinct.
The latest round of violence in Portland follows the breakup by federal authorities of a clash between right-wing and left-wing demonstrators the day before. That clash occurred at a plaza near a federal building in Portland.
Police officers were subject to hurled rocks, bottles, and fireworks and had lasers shined in their eyes. U.S. News and World Report reported that around 200 demonstrators set a dumpster on fire and used it as a shield as they approached the precinct building. An awning of the building was set on fire as well.
During the event the Portland police department took to twitter to inform citizens and warn demonstrators, “Criminal Activity has continued. This event is now a RIOT. All persons must leave to the SOUTH. Failure to adhere to this direction may subject you to citation, arrest, and/or crowd control agents including, but not limited to, tear gas and impact weapons. Stop attacking officers.”
The rioters’ actions against the police are not shared by many sympathetic to the cause of police reform. Bishop Jermaine A. Williams of the Mission Field Church, a black man, was at the Saturday clash of protestors where he was injured while trying to promote peace between the dueling groups. Bishop Williams said, “I see both sides, and I don’t choose sides. I see the need for the justice that needs to be brought to light and served. There is legitimate hurt from many on that side. I am black myself, and I have had my family done wrong and suspect it was due to the color of my skin, even by police at one point. But we can’t judge those in uniform. I can’t judge all of them for what was done by only a few. Without them, our nation won’t be a nation. We need our police.” The bishop made a plea to elected officials to condemn the violence on the streets. “I would like to make a call for governors and mayors to speak out and actually go against the violence,” he said. Racism is wrong, but this is so wrong and no way to help it.”
Acting Deputy of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli said the rioting on Sunday evening showed the “pathetic failure of local and state officials,” and pointed out that Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, currently has 7,800 national guardsmen available for riot control that are not being used. He said, “Oregon has the resources to solve this problem and yet they refuse to do it.”
Portland police reported that 23 people were arrested in conjunction with Sunday evening’s rioting, and one police officer was injured when he was struck by an object thrown by demonstrators.