Police declared a riot in Oregon’s largest city on Tuesday night as a demonstration to commemorate the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s death spiraled into chaos.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland on Tuesday evening. Some individuals were wearing helmets and carrying gas masks, umbrellas and backpacks. As the crowd chanted “burn the building down,” some people lit a dumpster on fire and pushed it up against the justice center while others vandalized the building with graffiti, according to the Portland Police Bureau. Some individuals in the crowd threw frozen water bottles, glass bottles, eggs, metal spikes and mortar-style fireworks at the officers, police said. The crowd then marched to the nearby Portland City Hall, where some individuals smashed windows.
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Police declared the unlawful assembly a riot at around 10 p.m. local time and ordered the crowd to disperse. But the crowd continued wandering through the downtown area, blocking traffic in the streets, breaking windows of various businesses and damaging other property, according to police. “Slowly, as the number of people in the crowd became smaller and smaller, they began to spread out, fight among themselves and light occasional trash can fires,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement early Wednesday. “People within the crowd were overheard saying the night was a success.” Officers made several “targeted arrests,” and by midnight, the crowd had dwindled down to a few dozen people, according to police. Five people, ranging in age from 21 to 30, were booked into jail on various charges, including criminal mischief, riot and arson, police said.
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: COURTHOUSE NEWS