Feds help Portland PD break up riots
The Portland Police Department (PPD) declared demonstrations in the downtown area a “riot” last night, before using force to disperse the crowd, according to a series of Twitter posts made by the department previous to using force. After the rioters reassembled, federal agents dispersed them again.
“Police had repeatedly warned hundreds of demonstrators to vacate the area after they had gathered at the 1800 block of North Lombard Street near the Portland Police Association building on Monday night,” reports Newsweek.
Protesters had been constructing make-shift barricades, attempting to set up an “autonomous zone” that forbids police inside the zone in the same way that Seattle protesters had kept cops at bay for weeks earlier this summer.
The Seattle autonomous zone devolved into a dangerous area that saw numerous crimes including two murders before police broke it up.
“Police said they removed some of the barricade at Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Salmon Street” in Portland last night, says KATU News 2, “but demonstrators returned to the area and reportedly threw glass bottles at officers. The group rebuilt the barricade.”
A Twitter post from the Portland Police department detailed some of the items thrown by protesters, such as: paint, ball bearings and glass bottles, calling the assaults “criminal acts.”
“[G]et out of the street or you are subject to arrest, force, or munitions,” said the PPD, later warning that tear gas might be used.
Police arrested five while clearing out the protesters around about 2:45 a.m.
After the PPD departed, the rioters immediately reassembled but were then dispersed by federal agents using canister-fired irritants.
Local police are not allowed to use tear gas or other irritants because of a court-order that forbids the practice.
Protesters have converged on downtown Portland for 47 nights straight as a result of the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis. However, police say that mixed in with legitimate protests, there is a great deal of illegitimate crime and mayhem that have local police at the breaking point.
“Quite frankly, this is not sustainable,” said Deputy Chief Chris Davis last week. “There’s a very big difference between protests and the kind of mayhem that we’ve seen every night. … The Black Lives Matter movement is not violent. The story that we’re going to talk about today is about a small group of agitators that is attempting to hijack that message and use it as a cover for criminal activity.”
So far, Portland businesses have lost more than $23 million in damages and lost customers since the protests began.
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