PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters broke into a building, set it on fire and started dumpster fires late Saturday night in Oregon’s largest city, police said, as demonstrations that have been taking place since the death of George Floyd intensified for another night in Portland.
The fire at the Portland Police Association building was put out a short time later, Portland police said on Twitter. The department declared the gathering a riot, and began working to clear the downtown area.
“As the crowd was dispersed, several people in the crowd were arrested and officers were able to extinguish the fire. Portland Police did not use any CS gas,” the bureau said in a statement early Sunday. Several arrests were made.
Tear gas was deployed, according to pictures and video from the scene, but it was not necessarily CS gas. Fencing that had been placed around the federal courthouse had also been removed by protesters and made into barricades, police tweeted.
Police also said protesters had gathered on Saturday evening at the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct, vandalizing patrol vehicles and taunting officers who were reporting for work. Later, as police dispersed a group that had gathered near North Interstate Avenue, people threw rocks and paint-filled balloons at officers. Some were injured, the statement said.
President Donald Trump has decried the demonstrations, and Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf blasted the protesters as “lawless anarchists” in a visit to the city on Thursday.
“We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!”