Rittenhouse protests escalate into a riot
Portland police declared a riot on Friday night, after protesters, angry at the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, began smashing windows and hurling objects at the officers.
Some 200 people gathered in downtown Portland, Oregon soon after Rittenhouse was found not guilty of murder in a fatal shooting that saw two men killed and another wounded during violent Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020. The jury in the case had ruled that the 18-year-old had fired his semi-automatic rifle in self-defense.
The protesters in Portland took out their fury on passing cars, broke windows, and damaged the doors of a number of buildings in the vicinity. Some in the crowd reportedly called for the city’s Justice Center to be burnt down.
The crowd chants "Kyle is a terrorist" outside the Justice Center after a riot was declared by PPB. pic.twitter.com/zqnzrGKqnW— Mathieu Lewis-Rolland (@MathieuLRolland) November 20, 2021
When law enforcement agents arrived on site, demonstrators began tossing objects at them, with minor person-to-person clashes also being reported.
A person using a wheelchair was knocked over during a protest that was declared a riot by authorities tonight Portland police clashed with demonstrators who gathered downtown after the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse pic.twitter.com/3wLSIhoRNr— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) November 20, 2021
The police department declared a riot after what it described as a “violent, destructive group” attempted to breach the gates of the Multnomah County Detention Center. However, they failed to gain entry and were later dispersed.
One person was arrested as a result of the unrest, and the police published a photo of the rear window of one of its vehicles being smashed as part of its efforts to identify the perpetrator.
Last year, Portland became a protest hotspot after the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Oregon’s largest city saw months of rallies, which often got out of hand and were marred by clashes, looting, arson, and vandalism, as well as by accusations that the police had used excessive force against demonstrators.
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