WATCH: Police ‘army’ blasts non-lethal rounds at BLM protesters in Portland as riot declared
The demonstration had remained peaceful throughout the night but then all hell broke loose when, at 11:45pm local time, a group of protesters set fire to a piece of wood, prompting a police response which escalated as people refused to leave the area and continued protesting.
Eyewitness video from the scene purports to show that police stationed at the courthouse were surrounded by angry protesters hurling insults and missiles. The besieged police responded by opening fire with pepper bullets. “Army shooting us,” claimed one eyewitness at the scene.
More shooting because the youth marched back to the park. pic.twitter.com/4uggsOwnyQ— Cozcacuahutli Itzpapalotl (@KohzKah) July 3, 2020
The situation was officially declared a riot at 11:53pm local time, as police claimed there were several people “starting fires, throwing rocks... pointing lasers... and launching projectiles with slingshots at officers.” It was the second time in three days that a riot was declared in the city.
Well that went sideways. Lots of pepper balls. pic.twitter.com/OjCIEjU71e— Cozcacuahutli Itzpapalotl (@KohzKah) July 3, 2020
Police deployed tear gas and other crowd control munitions as they cleared the streets of protesters.
Demands for judicial and criminal justice reform, as well as the defunding of the police among others, have been made repeatedly across the US since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd in late May.
Tear gas. I got shot for laughing. pic.twitter.com/61I7B8qeAH— Cozcacuahutli Itzpapalotl (@KohzKah) July 3, 2020
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