PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Firebombs, mortars and rocks were thrown at officers during a riot that began Saturday night in Southeast Portland, according to police.
Hundreds of people gathered at Ventura Park at around 7 p.m. on the 100th day of protests in the city of Portland.
Shorty after 9 p.m., police declared the gathering a riot when Molotov cocktails were thrown at officers.
Police ordered people to leave or be subject to the use of “use of crowd control munitions including, but not limited to, tear gas and impact weapons and the possibility of arrest.”
Officers said rioters marched toward the East Portland Community Policing Center, which is an active police station adjacent to townhomes and across the street from a school and community center, and has been the target of violence during past demonstrations.
Police said many in Saturday’s crowd were carrying large shields and dressed in protective gear that included helmets, gas masks and body armor.
“It was clear that the intent of the crowd was not peaceful protest,” according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Police said firebombs were first thrown at officers at around 9:15 p.m. One person subsequently caught on fire, according to police, and was treated by Portland Fire & Rescue medics before being taken to the hospital by private vehicle.
When the crowd was informed over loudspeaker that the demonstration had been declared a riot and they were told to leave the area immediately, police said fires were set in the streets. Items burned included dumpsters, garbage cans and wooden pallets.
PPB stated that a sergeant was hit with a commercial grade firework, which burned through his glove and hand. Several officers and troopers were hit by rocks, and an Oregon State Police vehicle was damaged by rocks, including broken windows.
An unexploded mortar was recovered by police.
PPB stated that, “In order to defend themselves from these assaults, officers used crowd control munitions, including tear gas. Officers made numerous targeted arrests.”
More than 50 people were arrested. Police said one had a dagger and another had a knife. Police released additional information, including names and charges of those arrested, at this link.
Police said at 2 a.m. there were 150 calls for service holding in the city of Portland, as officers and OSP troopers had been pulled from regular patrol duties to assist with the riot.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a statement Sunday saying, "Portlanders value peaceful demonstrations and the reform they seek. We need to end this long, hard summer, and come together. The community must say "enough is enough" and hold those who engage in criminal acts accountable. We cannot truly move on together and make the positive changes we want to see until violence is stopped."
On Sunday afternoon, firefighters said attempts were made to collect all the incendiary devices and acid bombs that were thrown during the riot, but some might have been missed, especially in the areas between Southeast 102nd and 122nd avenues and Southeast Stark Street to Market Street. Anyone who sees such items is advised to not touch them and call dispatchers at 503-823-3333.
Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.