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Group vandalizes Northeast Portland businesses, sets dumpster ablaze at police precinct

Demonstrators gathered at Peninsula Park on Saturday night before marching down Northeast MLK. Some broke windows and sprayed graffiti on the way.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A group of demonstrators broke windows, vandalized buildings and set a dumpster ablaze at a police precinct in Northeast Portland on Saturday night, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said. 

Police said the group gathered in Peninsula Park at 700 North Rosa Parks Way around 8 p.m. According to a flyer posted to social media, the gathering was for a planned march to demand justice for Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by a police officer during a scuffle in Grand Rapids, Mich., on April 4. 

Amid nationwide controversy over the shooting, activists have called for the unnamed officer to be fired and charged in Lyoya's death.

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Around 9 p.m., the group began to march from Peninsula Park to Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. They vandalized a Starbucks in the 6000 block of NE MLK, breaking windows and launching "explosive devices" at the building, police said. 

A local resident named Mark tried to enter the coffee shop through the lobby Sunday morning but learned that it was closed because of the damage. Only the drive-thru was open. 

"There's people in there that have jobs and rent and families to take care of," he said. "If that store is shut down for vandalism or sales decrease, that does affect the people at the bottom."

The group continued south on NE MLK, broke windows at a bank and sprayed another bank with graffiti. Three bus shelters were also damaged. 

Finally, the group made its way to the PPB's North Precinct building off Northeast MLK and Killingsworth. At least one demonstrator started a dumpster fire. Officers were unable to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, so they called in Portland Fire & Rescue for assistance.

Credit: Portland Police Bureau

"This isn't the place it used to be," said local resident Ghaimah. "I used to brag, saying that Portland was a peaceful place and nothing happens. But now I can't say that, because something is always happening."

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No arrests were made during the march, but police said they are still investigating. 

On Monday, Sgt. Aaron Schmautz, president of the Portland Police Association, expressed his concerns about the damage caused by demonstrators. 

"There's a small group that seems to want to take any issue in the country and turn it into their own desire to damage and destroy our country and our city," he said.

Pointing to the months of consecutive nightly protests Portland saw in 2020, Schmautz said the time has come to end the unnecessary violence, and that people engaging in criminal activity should be prosecuted. 

"There needs to be real consequences and I believe that if our community comes together and roots out the bad apples, they look at the people who want to engage in violence and we hold them accountable, it does not take very long before those people realize the work they're trying to do is not supported by their community and they're actually harming their community."

Anyone with information, including photos, video footage or suspect information, is urged to email police at crimetips@portlandoregon.gov and reference case number 22-101241.

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