More than 60 emergency 911 calls went unanswered overnight in Portland, Oregon, as police officers were preoccupied with riots downtown.
On the 80th straight night of protests, the Portland Police Bureau declared a riot at midnight, Sunday, after hundreds of people blocked traffic for three hours and engaged in “violent, tumultuous conduct.”
From midnight to around 2:45 a.m., demonstrators ignored warnings from the police to disperse and began bickering among themselves.
Some rioters pelted rocks at police officers and spray painted cameras while others shined green lasers into officers’ eyes.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 16, 2020
Two officers were sent to the hospital, and several people were arrested.
“At the time of this release, over 60 calls for police service were holding around the city,” the Police Bureau said in a statement. “Some had been holding for the length of the events described here. Call types ranged from theft, vandalism, suspicious activity, hazards, hit and run, burglary, violation of restraining order, alarms, stolen cars, harassment, and many others.”
Officers attempted to push the demonstrators back to Laurelhurst Park as demonstrators went through residential areas while residents watched from their porches and windows at their homes, the Oregonian reported.
While protests against police brutality have been peaceful by day, they have devolved into violent riots by night.
The nights of unrest in Portland that targeted Portland’s federal courthouse prompted President Donald Trump to send in federal agents to guard the building, which ended in violent clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and law enforcement.
Since the protests started, more than 500 people have been arrested, yet fewer than 50 people have been prosecuted, according to the Associated Press.