Riot declared after Portland protesters set fire to county office that promotes ‘cultural traditions and diversity’ (VIDEO)
Portland police have dispersed a crowd of protesters after a mob vandalized and torched a local government building that hosted Oregon’s first same-sex marriage ceremony.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said that demonstrators had “repeatedly smashed first floor windows with rocks and threw burning material” into the Multnomah County Building, which houses the county’s Office of Community Involvement. Photographs show the outside of the building was vandalized with graffiti.
Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said the destruction was “reprehensible” and “serves no legitimate purpose.”
County Chair Deborah Kafoury similarly denounced the vandalism, describing the government building as “the heart of our county.” She expressed regret that the protesters had set fire to the Office of Community Involvement, noting that the space is used by “community members who have been marginalized by the traditional political process.” The building serves as a venue for residents celebrating “their cultural traditions and diversity,” and the office’s lobby hosted the first same-sex marriage in the state of Oregon, Kafoury said.
The lobby where the first same-sex marriage in Oregon took place, and where millions of pieces of personal protective equipment are being distributed to help our community battle COVID-19, was damaged. pic.twitter.com/KC4qBUpfi0— Multnomah County, OR (@multco) August 19, 2020
Portland police arrived at the scene and guarded the building as firefighters worked to put out the blazes. The Oregon city has been rocked by weeks of protests, with many of them turning violent and several instances of arson and other forms of vandalism.
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