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Portland police declare unlawful assembly outside police union building, make 14 arrests

Police say one person set fire to a piece of plywood on the front door of the building and another tried to set fire to an awning.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police made 14 arrests Thursday night after declaring a gathering outside the police union building in North Portland an unlawful assembly Thursday night.

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) made the declaration shortly before 10:30 p.m. and ordered people to leave the area. PPB threatened arrest or use of force if protesters didn't disperse.

Video from journalist Justin Yau showed a small fire burning along the side of the union building, which PPB said was a piece of plywood on the building's front door that a member of the group set on fire. Police said another person tried to set fire to an awning and a third person hammered on the front door, trying to break in.

Police say officers began to disperse the crowd, made several arrests and then disengaged. Many members of the group stayed in the area. Police made a targeted arrest at 11:12 p.m., after which police say officers again disengaged. Police say some members of the group climbed onto the roof of the police union building at around 11:30 p.m., at which point officers returned to the building and made more targeted arrests.

The group left the area by 1 a.m.

Portland police say officers used no crowd control munitions. Police released the following information about the 14 arrests:

  • Michael Robert Divita, of Portland, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer 
  • Fiona Brackley, of Rockaway Park, New York, Interfering with a Peace Officer 
  • Isabelle Chen, of Portland, Interfering with a Peace Officer 
  • John Doe, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 
  • Sophia P. Kalsta-Watkins, of Portland, Arson II, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer 
  • Victoria Briones, of Greensville, South Carolina, Trespass II 
  • Oliviana Moreno, of Portland, Trespass II, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer 
  • Cariana M. Jung, of Portland, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer 
  • Tyler D. Houghton, of Portland, Interfering with a Peace Officer 
  • Abdiahman Sadik, of Portland, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 
  • Curtis Southern, of Salem, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer 
  • John Doe, Resisting Arrest, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 
  • Jenna Glenn, of Tualatin, Resisting Arrest, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 
  • Lisa Janelle Adibel, of Portland, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer 

One of the 14 arrests, Sophia Kalsta-Watkins, was charged for setting the wooden boards on the outside of the Police Union building on fire.

The protesters were calling for the total abolition of police and prisons. They met at Arbor Lodge Park before marching to the Portland Police Association (PPA) building, which serves as headquarters for the bureau’s police union. The building, located on North Lombard Street near North Campbell Avenue, has been the site of previous clashes between officers and demonstrators.

Thursday night’s demonstration came on the heels of a riot in downtown Portland Wednesday night. Video showed a protester throwing a molotov cocktail at officers. Police said in a press release that a total of three molotov cocktails were thrown at officers, and that demonstrators threw rocks, fireworks, glass bottles, full soup cans and paint at officers. Three officers suffered minor injuries, police said. 13 people were arrested.

RELATED: Hundreds demand justice for Breonna Taylor in Portland; separate protest nearby declared a riot

The violence Wednesday night came after hundreds gathered to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot and killed by police inside her Louisville, Kentucky home earlier this year.

Protests in Portland over racial injustice and police brutality resumed last week after a brief hiatus due to wildfires across the state blanketing the city in smoky and unhealthy air conditions. Prior to that, there had been more than 100 consecutive nights of demonstrations, many of which ended with clashes between police and protesters, following the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.

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