Portland Police: Protesters Tried to Burn Down Precinct with Officers Inside While Setting Up Autonomous Zone

PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 17: A woman looks at the police during an alt-right rally on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. Anti-fascism demonstrators gathered to counter-protest a rally held by far-right, extremist groups. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Chaos erupted in Portland, Oregon, early Friday morning as demonstrators took to the streets in a demonstration that turned violent, hallmarked by looting, vandalism, and arson.

Tensions were high in Portland as demonstrators gathered for a protest marking the one-month anniversary of George Floyd’s death. Activists reportedly attempted to construct their own “autonomous” zone, as authorities declared an unlawful assembly. The protest descended into the streets, dominated by arson, looting, and mass vandalism. The Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct faced the brunt of the wrath, with Portland Police confirming that protesters set the North Precinct, and surrounding structures, ablaze. Rioters also looted a least one business and vandalized others.

Protesters dispersed early Friday morning, according to Portland Police, which added that “arrests have been made” and confirmed “non-life-threatening” injuries in relation to the riots:

KOIN reported:

According to police, the north side of the North Precinct was set ablaze around 2:15 a.m. In response, officers used CS gas to disperse the crowd — a few canisters of which were thrown back at police by some protesters. Earlier in the night, demonstrators reportedly attempted to create an autonomous zone outside the precinct before an unlawful assembly was declared.

Police say several businesses were looted overnight after windows were smashed and more fires were set. Although it is not confirmed which business was looted, Top to Bottom on NE MLK Boulevard had restoration crews out early Friday morning installing new windows and clearing debris. A nearby bank is believed to have been vandalized as well.

Videos posted by journalist Andy Ngo show rioters vandalizing property, setting fires, and appearing to spray paint a security camera outside of the North Precinct. Ngo also reported that members of Antifa were attempting to steal barriers to create their own “autonomous” zone:

KATUNews’s Dan McCarthy confirmed that four arrests were made. Police also say that protesters were trying to barricade officers in the building and burn it down:

Last week, protesters in Portland toppled a statue of George Washington, the nation’s first president, and draped it in a burning American flag:

Vandals wrote “Murder,” “Fuck Cops,” “BLM,” “White Fragility,” and “You’re on Native Land” on the statue and its base.

The demonstrations come as civil unrest continues to dominate the streets in several U.S. cities, as protesters topple statues in the name justice.

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