PORTLAND—A riot was declared in Portland on Wednesday for a second night this week.
For the 69th night of demonstrations, protestors gathered outside of a southeast Portland police precinct shortly after 9 p.m. on the evening of the 5th and were dispersed with tear gas.
Since July 29, demonstrations and confrontations between police and protesters in Portland have moved through the city’s downtown area and on to police buildings scattered throughout the city.
Wednesday’s protestors gathered at 9 p.m. six miles from downtown at the Portland Police East Precinct on Southeast 106th Avenue and marched a short distance from Floyd Light Park chanting “No cops in a racist system.”
A little after 9:30 p.m., Portland police told all “peaceful” demonstrators to leave the area, over a loudspeaker.
After the first police warning was issued no one left and the crowd increased by 100 people.
At 9:45 p.m. a second police announcement was made. The gathering was declared “unlawful” and people were asked to leave the space immediately.
A row of people in yellow t-shirts, who identify as mothers, formed a line and linked arms at the south end of the street. They repeated “Black Lives Matter!”
At 9:55 p.m. after demonstrators cracked the glass of the doors to the precinct and started a fire in a trash can next to the entrance, the police declared the gathering a riot. For a final time, demonstrators were told to leave the area or they would either be subject to arrest or forced to disperse by impact munitions and tear gas.
Ten minutes later, officers clad in riot gear set off their stun grenades and utilized CS gas, a type of tear gas, to push people north past the fire and out of the precinct.
Police began to retreat at 10:30 p.m. and at least four people were detained.
Several dozen people stayed in the area past midnight, and police reported that most of the crowd had left by 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.
This was the first instance of police utilizing tear gas to disperse demonstrators since control of Portland’s Downtown Federal Courthouse was relinquished to state police last week.
The city was sued in June and July by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon for the use of tear gas by local officers, and a federal court order issued in early June temporarily disallowed Portland police the use of tear gas unless someone’s life or safety seem imperiled.
Tuesday’s demonstrations were also declared a riot after the Police union building was broken into and items inside were damaged. Impact munitions were shot toward the area in order to disperse the crowd.