Police declare riot in Portland after protesters pull down courthouse fence

Monday, 27 Jul, 2020

A federal judge denied Friday a request from the OR attorney general to stop federal agents from arresting rioters, ruling that the state lacked standing to sue on behalf of the protest crowds laying siege to federal buildings in Portland.

Police described via Twitter the "violent conduct of people downtown" as creating a "grave risk of public alarm".

Authorities say six federal officers were injured and one person was arrested.

Police had previously cleared the area after two fatal shootings there earlier this month.

Police also reported individuals spray painting on East Precinct, and attempting to disable cameras and breach the fence perimeter around the building. Police and demonstrators clash as protests continue in the city following reports that federal agents may have been sent to the city.

Wolf also defended tactics such as tear gas, rubber bullets and having officers sweep people off the street into unmarked vehicles, evoking images of a secret police force.

By 8 p.m. hundreds of people, most wearing masks and many donning helmets, had already gathered near a fountain, one spot where groups meet before marching to the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and the federal agents there.

As the group of agitators continued rocking the fence and tossing fireworks across the barricade, federal agents appeared to escalate their response, the CNN team observed. They were met with fireworks shot over the fence.

These were the details of the news Fresh violence in Portland as police fire tear gas on protesters for this day.

Multiple videos from the scene showed broken windows at several businesses, as well as police using pepper spray and clashing with protesters.

At the nearby Justice Center, images and words were projected onto the building including "Keep fighting".

The demonstration went until federal agents entered the crowd around 2:30 a.m. and marched in a line down the street, clearing remaining protesters with tear gas at close range.

The federal agents have arrested dozens during nightly demonstrations against racial injustice that often turn violent.

Portland has had protests for more than 50 days since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

She said she's anxious about people who are bent on disrupting protests, damaging property and provoking violence, and concerned about federal agents on the doorstep. Charges included assaulting federal officers, arson and damaging federal property, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said.

On Saturday, Seattle police Chief Carmen Best said officers working the Seattle protests would carry pepper spray and blast balls, but not tear gas.

"Across the country people are committing violence, supposedly in support of Portland", Lovell said. Portland police officers and police facilities have been threatened.

Thousands gathered in front of the downtown federal courthouse beginning Friday evening.

But the U.S. Department of Justice, citing Seattle's longstanding police consent decree, successfully argued that banning the use of crowd control weapons could actually lead to more police use of force, leaving them only with more deadly weapons.

"Before we finish on Portland, why can't you just arrest the leadership in Portland due to their, you know, ignoring what's really happening on the ground?"

Democratic leaders in OR, however, say federal intervention has worsened the two-month crisis. Harry Fones, a Homeland Security spokesperson, said at a news conference Saturday afternoon some people launched large fireworks, threw hard projectiles and used power tools to damage property.