PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – More than a dozen people were arrested after a demonstration in downtown Portland Saturday evening turned into a riot, according to police.
The Portland Police Bureau says early Saturday evening, a large group gathered in Chapman and Lownsdale squares and were listening to performers.
Police say multiple members of the group started launching fireworks from Southwest Main Street where the elk statue used to stand.
Just before 10 p.m., police say demonstrators began blocking westbound traffic on Southwest Main Street and continued to shoot off fireworks from that location, as well as Southwest 3rd Avenue.
Police say a vehicle associated with the demonstration had a speaker system and false announcements were broadcast that appeared to impersonate the bureau’s sound truck. Demonstrators started burning an American flag they hung from the Justice Center, according to police.
At about 10:30 p.m., police say demonstrators started shooting commercial grade fireworks toward the Justice Center and the Federal Courthouse.
Police say the sound truck warned the crowd to stop firing fireworks and incendiary devices at the buildings, and that if they continued, they would be subject to use of force or arrest.
Just before 10:50 p.m., police say demonstrators continued to launch fireworks and projectiles at the Federal Courthouse. Police say because of that, several windows were broken and fireworks and projectiles entered the building.
To protect the life and safety of personnel both inside and outside of the Federal Courthouse, police declared a riot just after 11 p.m. and began dispersing the crowd.
As officers were dispersing the crowd, police say demonstrators threw bricks, mortars, M-80s and other flammables toward officers. Lasers were also directed at officers’ eyes.
Police say officers used crowd control munitions and tear gas to defend themselves from serious injury.
At about 1 a.m., demonstrators started to trickle back to Southwest 3rd Avenue and started a bonfire in the middle of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street.
While the crowd was being dispersed, numerous windows of businesses were shattered by members of the crowd.
Police made several arrests, including one at Southwest Main Street and Broadway, where a man fought with officers. Officers were able to take him into custody and recovered an illegally possessed loaded firearm and a knife.
Police say the bureau was only able to handle emergency calls only citywide for several hours due to the need to deploy officers downtown to assist with the riot. This impacted those requesting police service throughout the city.
Between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., people launched fireworks, smoke bombs, and mortars at and near the Federal Courthouse. Police say crowd control munitions were deployed in that area.
Police say the crowd continued to remain in the area and engage in riotous behavior involving fireworks, lighting fires, smashing windows and targeting officers with projectiles.
Officers closed off an area of downtown from Interstate 405 to Southwest 1st Avenue and Columbia to Burnside streets.
Several officers were injured, mostly due to mortars and fireworks being thrown at them by members of the crowd, which exploded on or near them.
Most of the crowd was dispersed by about 4:30 a.m., according to police.
Police say 13 people were arrested and booked into the Mulnomah County Detention Center. They are:
- 35-year-old Christopher Klarer, Disorderly Conduct II, Reckless Endangerment
- 28-year-old Jacob Brumbaughsmith, Interference with a Peace Officer, Harassment
- 31-year-old Randal Marcus Mccorkle, Reckless Endangerment, Disorderly Conduct II
- 31-year-old Demetrius Cordova, Unlawful Direct of Light from a Laser Pointer, Disorderly Conduct II
- 28-year-old Emily Ann Gansberg, Riot, Resist Arrest, Disorderly Conduct II
- 30-year-old Krystyna M. Solodenko, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Attempted Assault of a Peace Officer
- 30-year-old Conner Oshea, Interfering with a Peace Officer
- 28-year-old Luke Schwedler, Resist Arrest, Disorderly Conduct II
- 28-year-old Jennifer Gunther, Riot, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Resist Arrest
- 30-year-old Robert Mcmahon, Disorderly Conduct II, Reckless Endangerment
- 27-year-old Lauren Gonsalves, Disorderly Conduct II, Reckless Endangerment
- 33-year-old Erick Hoopnagle, Riot, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace officer
- 23-year-old Joshua Michael Cocomise, Riot, Disorderly Conduct II, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Escape III
Two others were arrested and cited.
PPB Chief Chuck Lovell said, “This is the second time in a day a riot was declared in Downtown Portland due to the activities of many that put other's lives at risk; this is unacceptable. Our officers are tired, but they are resilient. They will continue to be available every night to protect our community members as they swore an oath to do. I hope community members can support these hard working individuals and denounce the violence that has been placed upon them by those who wish to riot. The violence we have witnessed is contrary to the values of our City and the thousands who are hoping to move forward with systemic change. Our community deserves better than nightly criminal activity that destroys the value and fabric of our community.”
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