Portland Police: ‘Extremely Dangerous Situation’ as Demonstrators Attack Cops

A Portland police officer shoves a protester as police try to disperse the crowd in front of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office early in the morning on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)
AP Photo/Nathan Howard

Portland Police clashed with protesters on Friday night into early Saturday morning as demonstrators targeted cops, hurling chunks of concrete and explosives at officers in what the department described as an “extremely dangerous situation.”

Portland Police declared a riot early Saturday morning after a group of protesters flocked to the Penumbra Kelly Building. Police warned demonstrators to stay off the property, but many did not heed the warnings, prompting arrests. Demonstrators — some of whom donned helmets and shields and blocked traffic on East Burnside Street —  began throwing rocks, and later pieces of concrete, at officers:

Officers continued to issue warnings and ultimately declared an unlawful assembly, but that did little to curb the violence. Demonstrators shined blinding lasers at officers and hurled rocks, bottles, eggs, and explosives at authorities, according to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB):

As the crowd continued to refuse to disperse from the area of the Kelly Building, targeted arrests were made. A person who was taken into custody was arrested wearing ballistic body armor (photo). Around 12 a.m., a vehicle was stopped and an occupant was arrested for shining a laser at the PPB’s air unit. At 12:10 a.m., individuals in the crowd gathered outside of the Kelly Building began throwing or launching frozen or hardboiled eggs, rocks, and commercial grade fireworks at officers positioned in the parking lot. This ongoing criminal activity created an extremely dangerous situation. Public address announcements were continually made directing the group to disperse to the east. At 1 a.m., both Oregon State Police and PPB officers began dispersing the crowd to the east.

As the officers dispersed the crowd, rocks, bottles, and explosives were continually launched at officers. Because of the danger posed by these projectiles, officers used crowd control munitions as they moved the group. Pool noodles (photo) were filled with nails by members of the group and placed on the roadway in an effort to damage police vehicle tires. One police vehicle suffered extensive tire damage.

Demonstrators have wreaked havoc on the city for over 70 days. During the August 6-7 protest, demonstrators threw paint on an elderly woman who was reportedly attempting to stop them as they moved to attack the East Precinct:

Even Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D), who once joined the protesters in a purported show of solidarity, has condemned the violence, stating that agitators are “attempting to commit murder” following an attack on the East Precinct this week.

“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Mayor Wheeler stated, warning rioters that they are “creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign.”

“If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up,” he added.

Police arrested “several” individuals during the latest protest, the PPB affirmed.


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