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Portland police make 2 arrests after group sets fire in street outside Justice Center

Some members of the group spray painted the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct building and others started a fire in the road, according to police.
Credit: Richard Gordon, KGW
Protesters gather outside the Multnomah County Justice Center on Aug. 12.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A small crowd gathered in the street near the Multnomah County Justice Center in Downtown Portland on Thursday night. Some members of the group spray painted the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct building, police said, and others started a fire in the road.

Officers made two arrests and issued one citation before the crowd left the area around 12:30 a.m.

At around 10:30 p.m., Portland police addressed the crowd of less than 100 people, asking them to stay out of the streets and move to the sidewalk. The group was told that if they stayed in the roadway, they "may be subject to the use of force, including crowd control agents and impact weapons."

According to an independent journalist at the scene, there was a "small cardboard fire" in the road and some people were playing soccer in the street.

Sergio Olmos, reporting for Oregon Public Broadcasting, captured video of the fire in the intersection at Southwest Main Street and 3rd Avenue.

Around 11 p.m., Portland police said that firefighters were on their way to extinguish the fire in the road. It also warned the crowd to get out of the street and not to interfere with the extinguishing of the fire. The fire was put out by 11:20 p.m.

The group left the area by 12:30 a.m.

Officers made two arrests and issued one citation:

  • Rachel Lee Talbot, 18, cited for reckless burning and first-degree arson
  • Zachary Reinhardt, 29, of Portland, arrested for interfering with a peace officer and second-degree disorderly conduct
  • Justin Bowen, 25, of Portland, arrested for reckless burning

Protests have been occurring almost every night in Portland since the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 8 minutes while he told law enforcement he couldn't breathe.

Demonstrators had taken to the streets in protest of various issues including police brutality against minorities, the defunding of police and abolishment of prisons, in mourning of ICE detainees and more. Before the Oregon wildfires made the air in Portland unsafe to breathe in September, protesters had been in the streets for 100 nights straight.