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Police: Crowd causes $500K in damage to downtown Portland during memorial for activist killed in 2019

The vandalism happened at the end of a memorial marking the anniversary of the death of Sean Kealiher.

PORTLAND, Ore. — People broke windows and tagged buildings in downtown Portland Tuesday night at the end of a memorial gathering for Sean Kealiher, a self-proclaimed anarchist who was killed on Oct. 12, 2019. 

Portland police estimate the group caused more than $500,000 in damage. 

About 100 people gathered outside the Justice Center on Southwest Third Avenue and Southwest Main Street around 9 p.m. It was the second anniversary of Kealiher's death. 

Independent videographers at the scene tweeted videos that showed exploding fireworks and graffiti. 

At about 10 p.m., the crowd began to march and broke a number of windows and ATMs. Around the same time, people set fire to dumpsters and garbage cans in the street, police said. 

Police responded to the scene and used a loud speaker to demand the crowd to disperse. Most of the marchers left the scene by 11 p.m. No arrests were made during the protest. 

"There were 35 separate locations that were targeted, including banks, retail stores, coffee shops, and government buildings," police said in a news release.

KGW confirmed locations in the area of Southwest Alder Street and Southwest Second Avenue were among those hit. 

No arrests were made and police are requesting tips from the public. 

"I'm concerned about the brazen criminal acts that took place downtown [Tuesday night]," Chief Chuck Lovell said. "I want to assure those who were victimized that investigations are underway, and we will do whatever we can to identify and arrest those who were responsible."

In 2019, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported that Kealiher, 23, was hit by an SUV while he was leaving Cider Riot, a now-closed bar in Northeast Portland that was popular among left-wing activists. 

The newspaper said gunshots were fired at the vehicle that hit Kealiher, and it was found crashed into a wall, but the driver was not located at the scene.

Kealiher was dropped off at a hospital that night. Police said he died of blunt force trauma. 

No arrests have been in connection to Kealiher's death. 

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