US police declare riot in Portland amid ongoing anti-racism protests
Protesters turned violent in the U.S. city of Portland on Tuesday, prompting police to declare a riot, after weeks of mostly peaceful demonstrations against racism and police brutality in Oregon’s largest city.
A crowd of about 200 gathered in the city’s Colonel Summers Park late on Tuesday before marching through Southeast Portland streets, eventually arriving at the Multnomah Building, the Oregonian reported.
Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury released a statement at midnight, saying a small group of protesters had set fire to the “Office of Community Involvement”.
Police said that failure to comply with its order to disperse could lead to arrests and use of tear gas, crowd control munitions and impact weapons.
Police said some officers were targeted a night earlier with a “powerful green laser” capable of causing permanent eye damage when some protesters marched on the Portland Police Association building.
US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democratic lawmakers earlier this month for sending federal officers to disperse protesters in the city.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Tuesday called for the Department of Justice to prosecute a group of people caught on videotape beating and kicking a man who crashed his truck near protests in Portland.
Black Lives Matter protests have been held across the United States in recent months after the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.