PORTLAND, Ore — Portland police declared a riot Wednesday night after police say a group of people threw mortars, fist-sized rocks, bottles and cans of paint, injuring some officers.
One officer suffered a severe hand injury and several officers suffered minor injuries, police said, which is what led them to declare a riot shortly before midnight.
Police say they used tear gas and other crowd munitions to clear the crowd, and made two arrests.
Most of the group left by 2:30 a.m.
Protesters gathered Wednesday night at Chapman Square near the Justice Center as demonstrations continued in Portland for an 11th straight week since the killing of George Floyd. A post on social media said the group is calling for the total abolition of the prison system and the police.
According to independent journalist Garrison Davis, the crowd size in downtown was about 400 people at about 10:20 p.m. People were mostly standing around and listening to speeches.
Around 10:40 p.m., 150-200 members of the crowd walked up to the federal courthouse which still has a fence surrounding the building, independent journalist Cory Elia tweeted. Police said members of the crowd launched fireworks towards the fence and started a fire outside the building.
Some members of the group moved to the Portland police's Central Precinct and police declared an unlawful assembly shortly after 11:30 p.m. Police say members of the group threw fireworks, rocks, bottles and cans of paint, injuring some officers, and a riot was declared at 11:59 a.m.
After the riot was declared, police say members of the group moved back south towards the Justice Center, where they threw eggs and fireworks at officers. Police used tear gas and other crowd munitions to disperse the crowd.
Most of the crowd left the area by 2:30 a.m., police said.
Police released information for the two arrests officers made:
- Daniel Applegate, 31, of Troutdale, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Resist Arrest, Riot, Outstanding Parole Board Warrant for Rape 1
- Marissa Wilder-Hancock, 19, of Portland, Criminal Mischief II, Reckless Burning
On Tuesday night, protests remained tame outside the Kelly building in Southeast Portland and in downtown as no arrests were made and there were no reports of violence or vandalism.
The quieter night came after Multnomah County’s new District Attorney, Mike Schmidt, announced a new policy that dictates how his office will prosecute those arrested during the ongoing protests in Portland.
Schmidt said the district attorney's office won't prosecute protesters arrested for city ordinance violations that don't include property damage, theft or the use or threat of force against another person.