Protest-turned-rebels vandalized and broke into the Portland Police Association office on Tuesday night and set fire to the building and nearby, police said Wednesday morning.
Hundreds of protesters marched to the office building on North Lombard Street near North Campbell Avenue and arrived at about 9:45 p.m., at which time police said they were blocking “all lanes” at the intersection, according to information provided by the department Wednesday morning.
Police said a “major fire” started on North Lombard Street shortly after the group arrived at the PPA building.
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“Members of the group began vandalizing the Portland Police Association office with graffiti while others tried to remove plywood from the doors and windows,” police said.
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Tuesday night’s event escalated even more. In one case, just before 11:20 p.m., police said a truck pulled a motorcycle through the crowd that had gathered on North Lombard Street, even though no one was hit.
Then, around 11.35pm, “the group had set up several barricades and fences along North Lombard Street,” police said. “The group continued to manipulate the doors in an attempt to break into the Portland Police Association office and several fires were started in the streets and around the building.”
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Early Wednesday morning, around 12:30, a gunfight led just a block from the PPA office.
“No one was beaten by firearms and no one was to speak to officials about the incident,” police said.
Shortly afterwards, the rebels forced their way into the police association’s office, where police said they damaged the property and “set fire to the building.”
The demonstrations and riots had largely ended at 03:30
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Police said several people have been arrested in connection with the events Tuesday night to Wednesday morning, although further details were not immediately available.
Another group gathered in central Portland for a largely peaceful, independent demonstration, police said. Despite cases of blocked traffic, the authorities said they did not “interact” with the group.
The city of Oregon has seen months of protests, which have recently developed into riots, since George Floyd’s death on May 25, who died while in police custody. Tensions flared even more in July when President Trump sent federal law enforcement agents to the city to protect a federal court that was reportedly vandalized and covered in graffiti. A fence was also placed around the perimeter of the court.
Local officials said they did not want the federal law enforcement, claiming it exacerbated the situation.
Agents left Portland last week and troops with Oregon State Police took over.