PORTLAND, OR—The Portland Police Department declared an incident of arson and disturbance at a police union building on Monday, August 24, a riot. Officers arrested 25 protesters, the largest number of persons arrested in a single day since July 16 according to Portland Police data of arrests and criminal activity since the beginning of protests in late May.
The nearly three-month long protests were precipitated by the killing of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.
A rally that participants said was held in response to the shooting of a Black man by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was held in Arbor Lodge Park. Allison Mechanic of KATU News tweeted live updates noting that hundreds of people arrived at the Portland Police Association building.
Crowds can be heard chanting: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it now! If we don’t get it? Burn it down!”
According to police officers, within minutes of arriving, fires were set on the outside of the building. Authorities were concerned that the fires would spread to nearby homes, and used tear gas and crowd-control munitions to disperse the protesters.
Mechanic filmed the arrival of an ambulance and witnessed someone being loaded in. In a tweet uploaded at 10:26 p.m., she wrote that her team was unable to tell if it was an “officer or protester.” She also witnessed arrests taking place.
Dan McCarthy uploaded photos of graffiti reading “BURN IT DOWN” and a fire at an area of the Portland Police Association building where a fence was erected.
The group was dispersed at around 1 a.m. Ages of the suspects arrested ranged from 18-50 years old and included offenses such as interfering with a peace officer, riot, disorderly conduct in the second degree, and resisting arrest.