Portland protesters hurl rocks at police on 80th night of BLM demonstrations, riot declared & 2 officers hospitalized (VIDEOS)
More than 200 people showed up to an anti-police brutality protest in East Portland on Saturday night. What began as peaceful demonstration later turned violent as protesters began moving into residential areas, throwing rocks and projectiles at police property and officers.
Portland Police eventually declared the demonstration a riot early on Sunday, arresting several people as they tried to clear the area. Footage captured by RT's Ruptly video agency showed intense clashes, as police deployed smoke grenades against protesters who refused to comply with warnings to leave the area.
According to a police statement, two officers were hospitalized following Saturday night’s incidents, after both the cops were hit with a 10-pound rock. Police say the rock was thrown by an individual with clothing bearing the word “press.”
During the clashes, some activists reportedly painted graffiti on the Penumbra Kelly Building, which is used by law enforcement. Police said another protester spray-painted over a security camera at the building.
Antifa protesters also tried blocking a street at one point by holding makeshift shields in a line, but the amateur barricade was almost immediately torn apart by police.
Antifa black block’s line formation instantly crumbles when Portland Police rush at them at the riot. Antifa have been attacking officers with rocks and other projectiles all night in SE Portland. #PortlandRiots#antifapic.twitter.com/u09jievcsa— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 16, 2020
While the targeting of police buildings and federal property has been a staple of the Portland protests since they began almost three months ago following the death of George Floyd, more recently demonstrators have been marching in residential neighborhoods and entering private property, requiring more of a police presence to disperse them.
A protest in the city earlier on Saturday saw pro-police demonstrators at the Multnomah County Justice Center clashing with counter-protesters, as paint balls and pepper spray were reportedly exchanged between the two sides. Shots were reportedly heard being fired at one point, but no injuries were declared. Police are currently investigating that incident.
Federal officers have begun leaving the city of Portland – though some remain to protect federal property – with the responsibility to keep protests peaceful now falling on city and state officials. President Donald Trump has warned on multiple occasions that if city officials cannot control the ongoing protests, he will deploy federal officers once more.
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