Portland is turned into a ‘war zone’ as stores are looted, anti-police protesters set a precinct on fire and cops use tear gas during violent night of demonstrations
- Protesters attempt to create an ‘autonomous zone’ outside the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct Thursday night
- Cops used tear gas to disperse protesters in the early hours of Friday morning, declaring the gathering as ‘an unlawful assembly’
- The precinct was set on fire a short time later, and protesters retaliated by firing paintballs at officers; businesses were also looted and buildings were vandalized
- Demonstrations calling for police reform and an end to systemic racism have been occurring Portland each night for the past month
- At times, the protests have turned destructive; last Thursday a statue of George Washington statue was pulled down and destroyed by a group of activists
Four people have been arrested in Portland after anti-police demonstrations turned destructive and violent.
Officials say Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct was set on fire early Friday morning following violent clashes between cops and protesters in the city overnight.
One right-wing commentator described the area as looking like something from ‘a war zone’, while protesters accused the authorities of inflaming tensions.
On Thursday evening, demonstrators attempted to create an autonomous zone – much like Seattle’s CHAZ – around the precinct. Police responded by declaring an ‘unlawful assembly’, KOIN reports.
Cops confirmed they used tear gas to try and disperse that crowd. Some protesters allegedly responding by ‘shooting paintballs at the officers’ face shields, rendering them unable to see’.
Demonstrations turned violent in Portland on Thursday night and Friday morning, with protesters started several fires and cops firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse crowds
Videos and images posted to social media by demonstrator James Martin showed several separate fires set up at barricades placed between protesters and police
One right-wing commentator described the area as looking like something from ‘a war zone’, while protesters accused the authorities of inflaming tensions
Police told KOIN that ‘crowd control munitions were used’.
At that time, several other fires were lit in addition to the blaze which later erupted at the police precinct.
Videos and images posted to social media by demonstrator James Martin showed several separate fires set up at barricades placed between protesters and police.
One image showed tires and a dumpster set alight, as several activists donned bike helmets as if ready for a confrontation with the cops.
Another image posted online showed a demonstrator left injured in the fracas, with a ‘chunk’ of flesh allegedly cut out of her ankle.
Another image posted online showed a demonstrator left injured in the fracas, with a ‘chunk’ of flesh allegedly cut out of her ankle
A still from a video posted to social media shows a large fire lit outside a store as protesters mill around
Several fires were lit in addition to the blaze which later erupted at the police precinct
Several businesses were also reported to have been looted. Graffiti was also sprawled across the North Precinct.
Demonstrations calling for police reform and an end to systemic racism have been occurring in Portland nightly since the death of unarmed black man George Floyd on May 25.
While demonstrations have largely been peacefully, there have also been previous instances of violence and destruction.
Last Thursday, a George Washington with a burning American flag draped across it was toppled by a group of activists.
The statue, which stood on the lawn of the German American Society in Northeast Portland, was pulled down by a group of about 30 to 40 protesters on Thursday night.
Footage of the incident, which took place on the eve of Juneteenth, showed the Washington statue draped in a US flag that had been set alight just moments before it was toppled.
The demonstrators placed a sticker on the head of the statue that read ‘You are on Native land’ and also spray-painted the statue’s pedestal with the phrase ‘Genocidal colonist’.
It was also tagged with ‘1619’ – a reference to the year when slaves were first brought to America.
A statue of George Washington with a burning American flag draped across it was toppled by protesters in Portland, Oregon on Thursday night
Police said a smaller group had split from several hundred peaceful protesters and threw hot dogs at police and cut a fence surrounding the Justice Center, which has been a flashpoint for conflicts between demonstrators and police.
Another group set a fire around the Washington statue before tearing it down.
Those responsible draped the fallen statue in a second US flag and also set that alight.
The group who brought the statue down scattered before police arrived at the scene, according to local media reports.
It comes as a statue of Thomas Jefferson that was based outside Portland’s Jefferson High School was also torn down last week.
The base of the statue had the words ‘slave owner’ and George Floyd’s name spray painted across it.
Images from the scene show the statue lying face down on the ground and covered in graffiti that read: ‘Genocidal colonist’
It comes after a statue of Thomas Jefferson that was based outside Portland’s Jefferson High School was torn down earlier this week
The base of the Jefferson statue had the words ‘slave owner’ and Floyd’s name spray painted across it