Video: Federal Officers Pepper Ball Portland Crowd After Protesters Hurl Fireworks Their Way

A demonstrator kicks back a tear gas canister back at federal officers during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo

A protester in Portland jumped the fence surrounding the federal courthouse on early Wednesday morning and hurled an incendiary device at the building, prompting a response from federal law enforcement. The protester’s actions, as well as the actions of others who hurled projectiles at the courthouse, come as Democrat lawmakers across the country continue to peddle the narrative that the protests across the country are largely “peaceful.”

Footage from last night’s protest in Portland shows a demonstrator within the barrier of the federal courthouse. Someone on the other side of the fence threw the man what appeared to be a flammable projectile — likely a firework – – which he then lit and hurled at the building before jumping off the other side of the fence:

Authorities provided several verbal warnings to protesters, who remained in the area and continued to chant, hop the fence, and hurl fireworks at the courthouse:

The crowd’s repeated actions and refusal to heed several warnings prompted federal officers to respond and declare an unlawful assembly. They reportedly used pepper balls on the crowd after a demonstrator launched a firework their way:

Federal officers eventually took to the streets to disperse the crowd and were, again, met with opposition:

According to the Portland Police, which did not engage with protesters, demonstrators were once again equipped with gas masks, hockey sticks, leaf blowers, and others objects. The local police affirmed that protesters started a fire inside the fence of the courthouse and “began shooting roman candles and other commercial grade fireworks towards the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse.”

“People also threw rocks, bottles, and other objects towards the Courthouse as well as climbed over the fence which protects the Courthouse. Around this same time, a large fire was set where the Elk statue used to stand. This activity went on for several hours,” the Portland Police Bureau stated.

The violent criminal activity follows Tuesday’s contentious hearing featuring Attorney General William Barr, who maintained that the protests in Portland are violent in nature, despite several prominent Democrats across the nation describing protesters as largely “peaceful.”

“What makes me concerned for the country is [that] this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” Barr said.

“Why can’t we just say: ‘Violence against federal courts has to stop?’ Could we hear something like that?” he asked.

Barr also expressed doubt that the federal building in Portland would be standing, had the administration not sent in federal authorities to defend it.

“There have been multiple attempts to set it afire. And I have to say, I don’t understand why a small contingent of Marshals inside the court poses a threat to anybody’s First Amendment rights,” Barr said.

Some Democrat lawmakers remained obstinate, including Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), who showed a video of chaos in Venezuela as part of an apparent attempt to cast federal authorities in Portland in a negative light.

“We have seen violence in Venezuela at the hands of Maduro firing tear gas at protesters and using brutal tactics to crush demonstrations. That’s what we see from dictators on both the left and the right,” the Florida lawmaker said:

House Judiciary Committee / YouTube

“But it’s hard to distinguish these photos from those events and from the videos that we’ve seen by U.S. Federal Police in Portland,” she added.


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