April 21 2021
5:52 PM
banner-icon1 banner-icon2 banner-icon3

Local Oregon News

Local News Index

Crowds gather in Portland, fires set, protesters ready for battle
Previous story
Story by by Oregon Herald staff
Next story
PORTLAND, Oregon - A crowd gathered at Woodlawn Park at Northeast 13th Avenue and Northeast Dekum Street and began marching at 9:41p.m. Most of the crowd, estimated at more than 200 people, wore armor, helmets, gas masks, all-black clothing and carried shields. They marched to North Precinct Community Policing Center at 449 Northeast Emerson Street. North Precinct has been the site of numerous violent protests, including multiple instances where protesters tried to set fire to the building with people working inside. In an effort to protect the building and give the officers protective space, Portland Police closed Northeast Emerson Street between Northeast Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and Northeast 6th Avenue. Police vehicles were positioned across the road and lights were used to illuminate the street.

Two North Precinct awnings were lit on fire, and officers were targeted by protesters with sharp chunks of ceramic, rocks, mortars, and powerful lasers during a riot Sunday evening into Monday morning.

As the march arrived at North Precinct, Northeast Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard was blocked to vehicular traffic in both directions. Individuals in the crowd immediately lit a fire in a dumpster and pushed it into the intersection of Northeast Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and Northeast Killingsworth Street. Individuals also took a flatbed trailer and rolled it to Northeast Emerson Street. They set up the trailer on its side as a shield. The burning dumpster was rolled to Northeast Emerson Street and was also moved to shield the protesters.

Almost immediately, from behind the shields and elsewhere, individuals began throwing chunks of ceramic, rocks, and glass bottles in the direction of the officers. Green lasers, which are capable of causing permanent eye damage, were shined at officers. At least one balloon filled with feces was thrown at officers on the roof of the building.

Due to the criminal activity, at 10:29p.m., the gathering was declared an unlawful assembly. All participants were directed over loudspeaker to leave to the south. Failure to adhere to this direction may subject them to citation, arrest, and/or crowd control agents including, but not limited to, tear gas and impact weapons.

Officers stayed far back for the next half hour, giving participants ample time to leave voluntarily. Few took advantage of that opportunity.

A commercial grade firework was thrown. The police vehicles were struck by thrown bottles, paint bombs (photo), rocks, and heavy metal screws (photo). Marbles were launched by at least one wrist rocket style slingshot. Officers on the roof of the building were struck by rocks. Paint bombs were thrown. Signs were torn from the ground and thrown (photo).

At 11:08p.m., the event was deemed a riot. More direction was given over loudspeaker that the criminal activity has continued and that all persons must leave to the south. Failure to adhere to this direction may subject them to citation, arrest, and/or crowd control agents including, but not limited to, tear gas and impact weapons.

As officers were preparing to move the crowd, someone lit a canopy against the building on fire (photo). The fire began to burn to the siding of the building, so officers on the roof got a fire extinguisher to try and put it out. As they were putting out the fire, multiple people pelted the officers with rocks. A lieutenant was struck with a chunk of ceramic, causing a cut to his hand (photo). A second awning was also lit on fire close to a tree (photo). That caused damage before it was extinguished.

At about 11:30p.m., due to the extreme threat to life safety and the aggression of the crowd, Portland Police deployed CS gas, then moved the crowd to the south. Arrests were made and crowd control munitions were used. Officers reported commercial grade fireworks were thrown from suspects with "press" markings. Officers pulled back but within minutes the crowd began to return. At 12:30a.m., officers made another effort to move the riot away. More arrests were made. After officers disengaged again, rioters moved into the street again. A security guard in a car got stuck in the crowd. A car with a red cross taped to the hood, indicating it was an informal protest medic, moved ahead of the security guard and blocked him in. He was eventually allowed to turn around and leave.

At 1:17a.m., officers made a 3rd effort to move the rioters. A sergeant was struck in the head with a helmet. The suspect was arrested. That time, when officers cleared, traffic was reopened.

The aftermath of the riot was documented in this video: and photos. Someone spray painted a security camera, and at least one officer's home address was scrawled on the side of the building.

The event forced the assistance of about 35 officers from patrol, severely limiting call response. As the riot was ending, there were 80 calls holding in the city, ranging from shots fired, car crashes, welfare checks, priority threats, missing persons, and more.