PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -- Leaders in the black community are condemning Thursday night's violent demonstrations in northeast Portland.

Portland Police say it all started in the late evening hours Thursday night.

A large group police say marched to the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct, built a fence outside and used dumpsters to ram garage doors of the building.

Police say eventually the demonstrators barricaded doors so anyone inside couldn't get out.

Police say demonstrators then lit the building on fire.

On Friday afternoon, black community leaders held a press conference, sharing strong words to the groups who committed violence in their neighborhood.

Related: Officers use tear gas after police say protesters lit fires, looted businesses in NE Portland

"What happened here last night had nothing to do with this protest, what happened here last night is something that to me is an act of a coward. To show up in the dark, to close some doors and then set a building on fire that's a terrorist activity and I agree with pastor Green, that's attempted murder," Kingdom Nation Church, said Pastor Dr. Steven Holt.

Portland police say demonstrators also began looting and setting fire to businesses in the area early Friday morning.

"When I hear about somebody burning something down, I think about that as an act that's always been used against black people," Albina Head Start Director, Ron Herndon said. "Burn down our business, burn down our churches, burn down our schools, that is a tactic that has been to destroy black people not help black people. So, whoever the demented individual was that did this last night is somewhere excuse my French in your rabid-ass mind you think that that's supposed to be helpful? Why don't you go back to west hell or wherever you came from?”

Many business owners who were hit Thursday night with vandalism and looting are owned by people of color.

Community leaders say this type of violence isn't helping anyone.

"We have worked hard over these 30 some years to invest economically in this street and we care very deeply about this street and about why we are standing where we are," Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, Pastor J.W. Matthew Hennessee said.

"I need for you to understand whose agenda is getting promoted here. Cause' this doesn't look like anything for anybody that looks likes me," Kimberely Dixon said.

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell also spoke with a message about protecting human life.

Lovell said people are inside the buildings that demonstrators have vandalized and lit on fire over the last several weeks.

"The acts that took place here last night are not only reprehensible but they're evil," Lovell said.

Mayor Ted Wheeler also spoke at Friday's press conference.

He said Thursday night's demonstrations were simply about arson and criminal violence and that's totally unacceptable.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(3) comments

Squib

These are not protests

These are not demonstrations

This is domestic terrorism

Procyon

Too little...

Too late.

lanquan

One month of destruction ad only today does the black community speak up and condemn? What are they..Wheeler?

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