April 21 2021
3:57 PM
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Police arrest people throwing projectiles causing injuries
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Story by by Portland Police
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On August 16, 2020 a crowd of people gathered at Laurelhurst Park. At about 9:10 p.m., the crowd of hundreds walked, blocking traffic on city streets, to the Penumbra Kelly Building in the 4700 block of East Burnside Street. As the crowd gathered it blocked all lanes of East Burnside Street from Northeast 47th Avenue to Northeast 50th Avenue.

At about 9:30 p.m., Portland Police gave public address announcements reminding the crowd not to engage in violence, criminal activity or trespass on the Penumbra Kelly Building property. The announcements included warnings that people who commit crimes may be subject to arrest or force, including crowd control munitions, pepper spray and tear gas. The crowd continued blocking the street, chanting and socializing for almost two hours.

Some of the crowd chants included, "kill a cop, save a life", "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now! If we don't get it, burn it down!"

At about 11:17 p.m., officers reported members of the crowd were launching mortars at the police and cars well back in the Penumbra Kelly Building parking lot, followed by thrown objects. People began to trespass on the property. Portland Police gave public address announcements directing people to stay off the property, which was closed to the public. At about 11:35 p.m., people approached the front doors of the Penumbra Kelly Building, trespassing on the property. People in the crowd continually threw large river rocks at officers. Portland Police gave more announcements and force warnings. For the next twenty minutes people in the crowd increased their violent actions toward police officers who were standing behind cars fifty feet or more away from the crowd. Officers reported having rocks, frozen eggs, glass bottles, and frozen water bottles thrown at them. Officers reported people were shining green lasers at them, which is against the law in Oregon. Somebody spray painted over a security camera on the Penumbra Kelly Building. During this time period a group of about fifty people walked east on East Burnside Street, arguing with each other. As they did vehicle and pedestrian traffic had to turn to avoid them. They stopped near a shopping center near Southeast 55th Avenue and argued loudly for a short period of time, eventually breaking up.

Portland Police gave more public address announcements warning the crowd that due to the large number of people acting out violently, trespassing, and damaging property, individuals may be subject to arrest, or the use of force. The criminal behavior continued. At about 11:57 p.m., the crowd had engaged in violent, tumultuous conduct creating grave risk of causing public alarm for a sustained period of time; the crowd was rioting.

Portland Police announced to the crowd that its conduct constituted a riot and ordered people to leave to the west. People in the crowd persisted in throwing rocks and other objects. At about 12:01 a.m., Portland Police moved the crowd to the west, made some arrests, and moved many people all the way back to Laurelhurst Park. People threw objects at police. At about 12:20 a.m., many people entered the park, which is closed after midnight. Police disengaged, then returned to the Penumbra Kelly Building, allowing people to make the decision to act lawfully.

Instead, a large group of people formed up and walked east, blocking city streets, back toward the Penumbra Kelly Building. By about 12:30 a.m., around two hundred people arrived at the Penumbra Kelly Building. Portland Police gave announcements as before. People began throwing rocks, glass bottles and other objects at police who were standing back in the parking lot. At about 12:36 a.m., Portland Police began moving the crowd to the west as before. This went on for about twenty minutes. Police made more arrests. During this time people in the crowd mingled with those with "press" written on their outer garments as cover and threw rocks and bottles at police. People with "press" written on their outer garments also threw objects at police. Somebody threw a rock, which broke a window in the vehicle giving public address announcements. Others pelted the same vehicle with rocks causing dents. Other vehicles were dented by thrown objects. At least one car parked along a street had windows broken out when a rock or rocks thrown at police, missed them and struck the car windows.

At about 12:56 a.m., Portland Police decided to disengage again from the crowd again to see if individuals would decide on their own to act peacefully and lawfully. Slowly, some of the crowd dissipated, but small clusters remained in the area and periodically threw rocks at police and their vehicles either in the parking lot of the Penumbra Kelly Building or in the street. By 1:45 a.m., there were still about 75-100 people still standing in the middle of East Burnside Street facing the Penumbra Kelly Building and occasionally throwing things.

Over the next hour, most people wandered off. A group of about twenty remained late into the morning blocking East Burnside Street at Northeast 50th Avenue, standing around a dumpster in which they ignited a fire.

Portland Fire & Rescue treated two Portland Police members injured by rocks thrown by individuals in the crowd. Both of them went to the hospital for further treatment. One of the rocks (pictured) weighed 9.5 pounds and was thrown by a person in group of people wearing "press" as the officer prepared to ride away on a truck.

Portland Police did not deploy CS gas, but did deploy smoke.

At the time of this release over 60 calls for police service were holding around the city. Some had been holding for the length of the events described here. Call types ranged from theft, vandalism, suspicious activity, hazards, hit and run, burglary, violation of restraining order, alarms, stolen cars, harassment and many others.