Portland Protesters Vandalize Oregon Historical Society
Portland Police declared what began as a peaceful demonstration a “riot” late Friday, marking the third time in five days the bureau had made such an announcement. Officers arrested at least four people amid the melee that had drawn several hundred people, the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement just before 2 a.m. Saturday.
Protesters in downtown Portland lit fires, smashed the windows of businesses, a church, and the Oregon Historical Society, and caused other various damage during a destructive demonstration Friday night and early Saturday.
Someone also fired several gunshots from a car traveling a block away from the protest crowd early Saturday. No one was hurt in that event, but others sustained minor injuries elsewhere during the protests.
— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) April 16, 2021
Protesters already angered by a police shooting the day before began by marching through downtown, smashing glass storefronts at locations including the Nike store near Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao, a Verizon business, and a bank.
Portland Police shot a man in Lents Park just after 9:30am
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) April 16, 2021
Some of the demonstrators broke windows at the Oregon Historical Society, whose entrance was previously shattered by protesters who had declared an “Indigenous Day of Rage” in October. Police also said protesters damaged the nearby First Christian Church, which serves meals to the homeless and has long welcomed those who identify as LGBTQ. Police announced a riot about 9:50 p.m., telling the crowd to disperse, and protesters arrived at the Multnomah County Justice Center and adjacent federal courthouse soon thereafter.
“We love our neighbors: Immigrant, LGBTQ, of color, with disabilities, of all faiths,” read a sign in the window of the church next to several cracked window panes.
During this time, Portland police said there were 79 outstanding calls for service across the city, including reports of shots fired, burglaries, and a hit and run. “Police resources were stretched across the City to manage the calls for emergency service and the riot,” the bureau said in its statement.