Protests in Portland turned violent as protesters attempted to establish an autonomous zone and looted stores around a police precinct, turning it
Protests in Portland turned violent as protesters attempted to establish an autonomous zone and looted stores around a police precinct, turning it instead into a “war zone,” according to reports.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the North Precinct on the one month anniversary of George Floyd’s death while in police custody, Oregon Live wrote. While protests earlier in the day had been peaceful, protesters set fires around the precinct as they attempted to “burn the building down” after failing to take control of it.
A Portland police report described how protesters gathered, bringing supplies “to build a fence.” While some protesters blocked traffic and attempted to build an autonomous zone outside the precinct similar to the one in Seattle, others hurled projectiles, including glass bottles and fireworks, at police.
Protesters also used dumpsters to block officers inside the building.
In video footage, protesters can be heard chanting “No good cops in a racists system.”
“North Portland looks like a war zone right now,” Andy Ngô, a reporter for The Post Millennial, tweeted on Friday morning. He also claimed that militants had tried to “establish an autonomous zone outside the [Portland Police] North Precinct.”
“Rioters have a huge banner that reads, ‘Every city, every town, burn the precinct to the ground.”
Protesters covered the precinct in graffiti, with anti-cop slogans such as “ACAB” – which means “All Cops Are Bastards” – and “Abolish Police” as well as the comment that “Tamir Rice would be 18 today” over an enormous BLM.
Officers attempted to disperse the crowd around 1 a.m. on Friday using “crowd control munitions,” including impact muniticions and CS gas, which Oregon Live notes is “a kind of tear gas.” Protesters also allegedly fired paintballs at the officers, obscuring their vision as the protesters and police clashed.
An hour later, people seen were looting businesses and setting them on fire. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear.
“The dynamics of the demonstrators during this incident were more aggressive and violent than those seen in past weeks,” police said in a statement.
They also tweeted out that “arrests have been made. Officers are now securing businesses that were vandalized and looted in the King neighborhood.”
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At least one officer was taken to hospital with injuries, though he is expected to make a full recovery.