PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Police declared an unlawful assembly late Tuesday after they said a group of protesters started throwing projectiles at officers near the Multnomah County Justice Center.
Police said officers arrested or detained over a dozen people between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning following ongoing protests against police brutality.
The names of those arrested and the charges they face have not been released. Police said a gun and a fake gun were seized from two people who were arrested.
Tuesday was the fifth night of demonstrations in Portland spurred by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer.
At about 9:15 p.m., police said a group of hundreds was near Southwest 4th Avenue and Taylor Street, at the fencing near the Justice Center.
The group was repeatedly warned not to tamper with the fencing. Police said members of the group then started throwing projectiles at officers, including bottles, mortars, bats and fireworks at officers.
Police then called it an unlawful assembly and told people to leave the area or force would be used.
A FOX 12 crew heard explosions and saw tear gas being deployed to try and disperse the group. FOX 12 also witnessed scuffles between protesters and police.
Members of the crowd gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square and then started marching back to the area near the Justice Center.
Police say protesters there started throwing things at officers, and some of the projectiles were coming from up above in a parking garage.
Officers deemed it an unlawful assembly again and said they would be using force, which may include riot control agents and impact munitions. They told people disperse to the north.
Following the projectiles thrown at officers, police said that at 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, a large group of protesters started using barricades to block the intersection of Southwest 6th Avenue and Southwest Yamhill Street.
Pallets and other items were used to create a large pile in the roadway. Police said a bucket of what was believed to be an accelerant was poured on the large pile of items by a protester, leading to "significant concern" about the potential danger of the situation.
Officers proceeded to drive through the large pile of items to prevent the pile from being ignited.
Police acknowledged that a video shows a police vehicle hitting a barricade near the area where the pile was made. Police said bureau staff are researching the circumstances surrounding the recorded incident.
Officers said the later protesters in downtown were not related to an earlier peaceful protest involving thousands of demonstrators that marched in the streets of Portland to Pioneer Courthouse Square.
For the first time in days, there was no curfew for Portland on Tuesday after peaceful protests on Monday. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler instated daily curfews after protests turned violent Friday night, with groups of protesters setting fires in the streets, looting stores, and damaging area businesses.
Protests have continued throughout the weekend but have largely been less chaotic.
Starting Tuesday evening, protesters began to gather in different areas in downtown Portland, with a massive crowd marching west to Pioneer Courthouse Square. Organizers in that crowd asked everyone to remain peaceful.
Others marched peacefully to the Burnside Bridge from the east side, where protesters laid down on the ground with their hands behind their backs. While on the ground, many repeated the phrase “I can’t breathe”, words that have become symbolic of protests for Floyd. The crowd continued to grow as they marched to Revolution Hall to join other protesters.
We cannot see the beginning or end of this crowd from our spot on the Burnside Bridge. Seems to be possibly the largest demonstration we’ve seen so far in Portland in these five nights. pic.twitter.com/mkSGPIedpj— Audrey Weil (@audreytweil) June 3, 2020
Protesters on Monday also laid on the bridge for nine minutes of silence to mark Floyd’s death.
At Revolution Hall on Tuesday, organizers highlighted the message that they were happy with peaceful protests on Monday and planned to continue to march peacefully throughout the night.
The group marched to Pioneer Courthouse Square, where they listened to speakers and cheered.
FOX 12 crews at one point capturing a protester dressed in black burning an American flag. Other protesters quickly extinguished the fire and kicked that person out of the crowd.
Demonstrators from that event marched eastbound toward the Burnside Bridge and headed back to Revolution Hall.
The Peace Train, a truck and trailer that made its first appearance during Monday night’s protest, appeared again during protests Tuesday to spread messages of hope and kindness.
The marches on Tuesday come as interactions between law enforcement and protesters in Portland have grown increasingly positive, with FOX 12 crews catching several powerful moments between marchers and officers.
Video taken outside the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland on Sunday shows officers kneeling and shaking hands with demonstrators. Later, video shows protesters speaking with officers through a chain link fence in front of the Justice Center. FOX 12 on Tuesday caught up with Xaii Crowl, a protesters who helped keep the peace during that interaction.
Crowl said after demonstrations on Monday night, protesters feel their voices are being heard and there’s a sense of accomplishment.
Crowl said he met with Mayor Wheeler and said he feels like the lines of communication between leaders and community members are open.
Police on Tuesday closed the westbound lanes of the Hawthorne Bridge to improve security. The eastbound traffic lanes and both bridge sidewalks remain open to the public. On Monday, officers blocked off multiple streets downtown around the Multnomah County Justice Center and the bridge.
Police Chief Jami Resch said the closure is dependent on the community, and if they continue to see peaceful events, officers will take down fences and barricades.
Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.