PORTLAND–A group of approximately 250 people gathered at Normandale Park in Portland on Saturday, August 22. As rocks and bottles with chemical solutions were thrown and paintball guns, fireworks and green laser were used, authorities declared the demonstration a riot.
Right-wing and left-wing protesters gathered at Northeast 57th Avenue and Northeast Halsey Street on Saturday night and proceeded to march to the south at around 9:15 p.m. The Portland police said many participants in the march “carried hardened shields, helmets, armor, gas masks and wore all black clothing.”
The two groups threw items at each other, fired paintballs and blasted chemicals for more than two hours. It was reported that at least one participant was hit in the abdomen by an exploding device and at least one participant targeted the Portland Police Air Support Unit airplane with a green laser.
The march later proceeded to the Penumbra Kelly Building at 4735 East Burnside Street where incidents related to assaults and vandalism happened multiple times for the past few months.
“That has been the target of rioters on multiple occasions over the past few months, including assaults on officers, commercial grade fireworks detonated, fires set, threats to burn down the building, and vandalism,” said the Portland Police Department in a statement, adding the Incident Commander stopped protesters from entering the Kelly Building.
The police officers prevented the protesters from crossing over Interstate 84. Four vehicles drove close to the officers and refused to move. A sergeant deflated two tires of a car and stated in a Sunday report that the action was “to prevent the danger presented by the vehicles,” saying other vehicles chose to follow the order and leave.
The Portland Police declared at 11:41 p.m. that the gathering at the Penumbra Kelly Building was an unlawful assembly. About five minutes later, officers began to move the crowd to the west and it was the time that rocks, bottles and other hard objects were thrown at them. Several officers were injured.
Authorities declared a riot at 11:59 p.m. and protesters were continuously warned not to walk back to the Kelly Building as this action may lead to arrest. After most of the protesters left the scene, the police officers began to make arrests at around 12:35 a.m.
A total of 14 people were arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.