Police in Louisville and Portland break up riots, disperse and ban protests as Trump calls for Guard
Police in Louisville have banned nightly caravan protests in the city as they say the demonstrations are becoming increasingly “aggressive.” Protesters used cars and pedestrian traffic to harass motorists and create incidents, while in Portland, protesters set a fire inside and outside a police union building as police declared a riot, dispersing protesters for the 2nd night in a row, as local authorities seem paralyzed by the riots.
“In an emailed statement at 1:40 a.m. Sunday, Sgt. Lamont Washington, an LMPD [Louisville Metro Police Department] spokesman, said protesters marching downtown ‘blocked roadways, surrounded vehicles that tried to avoid the protest, shot paintballs (at) passing motorists, destroyed property at 4th Street Live while it was occupied with patrons, set trash cans on fire, and then continued to Jefferson Square,’” says Louisville’s local WDRB.
Police made 12 arrests overnight.
In a statement on Twitter, LMPD says that they are trying to balance First Amendment rights with the rights of citizens to live in a safe city, but now the city’s safety needs have to come first.
“All pedestrians must stay out of the streets – staying on sidewalks and following all laws for pedestrian traffic,” the statement concludes. “Cars and pedestrians will not be allowed to block intersections for any length of time.”
Protesters played the race card saying that people in vehicles are using racial slurs and throwing items at demonstrators blocking traffic.
“At a news conference held Sunday by the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a speaker who was among the protesters near the truck said the people in the truck called protesters racial slurs and one of the people in the truck flick a cigarette at one of the demonstrators,” says WDRB.
In Portland, rioters attacked a police union building and police officers with “commercial-grade” fireworks overnight, as the cops tried to disperse the violent crowd. Two officers were injured as police made 16 arrests.
“Police said they warned the crowd to not engage in criminal activities such as vandalism or setting the building on fire,” reports local KATU. “However, they said it only took three minutes before protesters began blocking streets with dumpsters and fences, causing an ambulance to detour around the obstruction. They also lit a fire on the sidewalk outside the building, police said.”
Last week, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler accused protesters of “attempted murder” when anarchists lighted fires outside a police precinct and barricaded those inside building in an attempt to prevent them from escaping the flames.
Last night’s arson attempt marks at least the fourth attempt at burning down buildings associated with law enforcement.
President Donald Trump called on local authorities to activate the National Guard to prevent future violence in the wake of last night’s violence.
“Portland, which is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard,” tweeted the president. “The Mayor and Governor are putting people’s lives at risk. They will be held responsible. The Guard is ready to act immediately. The Courthouse is secured by Homeland!”
Last night’s arson attempt marks at least the fourth try at burning down buildings associated with law enforcement.
Last week federal authorities charged an 18-year-old in a criminal complaint after the protester allegedly threw an explosive device at a federal building, causing an explosion and fire.
“Authorities say security cameras caught 18-year-old Gabriel Agard-Berryhill throwing an ‘incendiary object’ into the entrance of the building near midnight on July 28, causing an explosion inside the downtown courthouse,” reports the New York Post.
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