PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Looters smashed through the windows of dozens of businesses and started fires in downtown Portland, as protests raged out of control early Saturday morning in response to George Floyd's death.
Hundreds gathered on Friday at Peninsula Park in Portland to attend a vigil, later taking to the streets in response to George Floyd's death. Big crowds marched for five miles, eventually making their way to the Justice Center in downtown Portland, smashing through some of its windows, and then lighting a fire inside.
"The Justice Center has been attacked and a fire has been lit inside," the Portland Police Bureau tweeted late Friday night.
Portland police later said some protesters were throwing projectiles at officers.
Looters smashed windows at downtown businesses, including shops inside Pioneer Place mall, a Target, a CVS pharmacy, jewelry shops, and many others. At a CVS Pharmacy, looters grabbed what they could and started burning it in the middle of the street.
Broken glass now litters the sidewalks of southwest Portland as dumpster fires smolder and police continue to try to control the riot.
Vigil organizers earlier said the event was to show solidarity with Minneapolis protesters. Many who attended the vigil, estimated to be in the hundreds, carried signs calling out white supremacy and police brutality. People also held up fists as a show of solidarity and shouted "black power" and "love not hate".
The vigil was peaceful and included several speakers who encouraged the crowd to stand up for injustices that people of color face in America. The crowd once it started moving blocked traffic while marching down streets including Rosa Park Way and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Some people in the crowd participated in acts of vandalism while winding their way to the Justice Center in downtown Portland. FOX 12 crews saw spray paint tags on a Wells Fargo Building along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, as well as several other businesses. Crews also saw people smash windows and damage businesses along the street, including the Nike store.
Many people while marching chanted "black lives matter" and "no justice, no peace", and "say his name, George Floyd".
Portland police on Twitter late Friday night said there had been "significant vandalism and a shooting" connected to the protest.
In a later tweet, police said investigators were looking into three separate shootings involving two victims. The first occurred downtown, according to police, and the second near Farragut Park.
"The third incident location is being determined but believed to be related to the demonstration," police said.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also took to social media to address the protest.
"Portland, this is NOT us," Wheeler tweeted. "When you destroy our city, you are destroying our community. When you act in violence against each other, you are hurting all of us. How does this honor the legacy of George Floyd? Protest, speak truth, but don’t tear your city apart in the process."
A large police presence responded as protesters rallied at the Justice Center, using a loud speaker to tell the crowds to disperse.
Earlier in the day, the Portland's NCAPP held a "Eulogy for Black America" demonstration that drew a large crowd to the Terry Shrunk Plaza in downtown Portland.
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