Just one day after Democrats at a Senate hearing on destructive riots in Portland denied that description and claimed otherwise peaceful protests turned violent because of the presence of federal officers, the state police declared a riot, which included gunfire, a stabbing, and setting the Portland Police Association building on fire.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) accused President Donald Trump at the hearing of sending “secret police” into Portland who provoked violence from protesters, despite the screening of a video compilation showing mobs dressed in black and wearing gas masks setting fires, throwing explosive devices, and attacking buildings and police officers. A riot has been declared at N Lombard St and N Campbell Ave.
You are ordered to disperse to the south immediately. Failure to comply with this order may subject you to citation or arrest, and may subject you to the use of crowd control agents and/or impact weapons. Protests following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police in May, have devolved into dangerous riots in cities across the country. The local media outlet KOIN reported on the scene on Tuesday night: As the protests spilled into Wednesday morning, several shots rang out near North Mobile Avenue and then again about 15 minutes later near North Lombard Street. No one was hurt, but a car was struck.
When Portland police went to investigate, the crowd that met them was hostile and no one would speak to officers about the incident. A short time later, a group of protesters breached the doors of the Portland Police Association building. While inside, some set a fire and caused other damage — prompting the police to declare a riot around 1 a.m. Upon reaching their destination Tuesday night, some in the crowd proceeded to drag a dumpster into the street and light it on fire. Others set debris on fire and pushed it against the PPA building, only for some to dismantle the pile and extinguish the flames. Portland police did not engage the crowd but tweeted that there was “criminal activity” occurring in the area and asked peaceful protesters to leave.