PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Portland police say they encountered a violent crowd during a demonstration Monday night and they later declared a riot.
A little after 8:30 p.m., crowds near the Penumbra Kelly Building, located at 4735 East Burnside Street, began throwing objects at officers, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
The group had marched to the building after holding a vigil at Laurelhurst Park for Daunte Wright, a Black man who was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Earlier Monday, the Brooklyn Center police chief said the officer who shot Wright thought they had grabbed a Taser, not their handgun.
Hours later in Portland, PPB said police acted in self-defense and in defense of property after stating to demonstrators that the Kelly Building was closed.
Police said some threw glass bottles, frozen water bottles, rocks, ball bearings and other objects, and shot fireworks in the direction of officers and the building.
Police then issued verbal warnings, directing people to stay off the property, and to remain on sidewalks. Force warnings were given, warning protesters that they may be subject to dispersal, including munitions and they may be subject to arrest.
The group grew to 200 people and blocked East Burnside to drivers. PPB said people from the crowd came onto the closed city property and attempted to set a dumpster on fire.
Police said many in the crowd kept throwing objects and some continued lighting a fire on the east side of the building, adding wood and other flammable material to it. People were seen breaking windows on the front side of the building and there were repeated attempts to breach the front doors of the building.
At about 10:20 p.m., officers began moving the crowd away from the Kelly Building, heading west on East Burnside. Neighbors called to report thefts from area yards and to report the disturbance. Police said people in the crowd were stealing rocks and landscaping bricks and other property to use as weapons against police.
Police said due to the continued violent conduct by so many in the crowd, an unlawful assembly was first declared, then when the conduct of the crowd did not improve, incident command declared a riot.
The situation at the Kelly Building has devolved into a riot. Dispersal orders have been given. In addition to broken windows and continued projectiles being thrown at police, multiple attempts to breach the building have occurred.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) April 13, 2021
Here’s how things look right now after @PortlandPolice pushed the crowd back from the Penumbra Kelly Building to Burnside and Cesar Chavez. PPB has already declared this a riot. @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/k3gEfdWNu9— Bridget Chavez (@BridgetChavezTV) April 13, 2021
At about 10:34 p.m., police disengaged from the crowd, as most of the people in the crowd began moving away and were now several blocks from the location of the riot.
PPB said officers remained in the area “for the safety of the community.”
Police said the crowd did not return to the building after they were dispersed.
No arrests were made, but police said investigations following the riot may lead to arrests. The crime of riot is a felony in Oregon.
According to police, no CS gas was used.