Posted on September 24, 2020

Portland Protest of Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Decision Prompts ‘Riot’ Declaration, Arrests

Mark Graves and Jim Ryan, Oregon Live, September 24, 2020

A downtown Portland demonstration demanding police stop killing Black people came to an abrupt end Wednesday after a handful of protesters targeted officers and a precinct with fire and rocks.

Police quickly extinguished the flames as they burned the edge of an awning. But soon after, someone threw a Molotov cocktail toward officers — one of three thrown during the night.

Police ordered the hundreds of people gathered in honor of Breonna Taylor to leave, then used force to move them. Federal officers helped.

Police deemed the protest a “riot,” and several people were arrested.


{snip} As speeches continued past 9 p.m., a smaller crowd started forming in front of the Second Avenue side of the Justice Center — the location of Portland police’s Central Precinct.

Police said people in the group outside the precinct threw rocks at the building, shattering glass, and used slingshots to launch items through broken windows. Police also claimed some tried to enter the precinct.

Police declared that gathering an “unlawful assembly,” later citing “ongoing criminal behavior and vandalism to the precinct.” {snip}

{snip} Police warned people to leave Second, and dozens of officers then advanced on the crowd — using smoke and other devices.

At least one protester responded by throwing a firework toward officers. Police said glass bottles were also thrown {snip}

Demonstrators returned to the larger crowd on Third, and police retreated.

{snip} After officers left, many people streamed back to Second. Officers repeated warnings and eventually labeled the gathering a “riot,” citing concerns that flames from a precinct awning lit on fire could spread.

Rocks that smashed windows were thrown. Police also said green lasers were shined at officers and full soup cans were thrown in their direction.


{snip} Officers in riot gear were deployed, and someone threw a Molotov cocktail that hit an officer in the foot. A medic extinguished the flames.

Two other Molotov cocktails were later thrown toward officers {snip}


ARRESTS: Several people were booked into Multnomah County jail custody early Thursday on suspicion of charges generally associated with the demonstrations, including interfering with a peace officer, disorderly conduct and rioting.

Two men booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center are accused of arson and other charges. One of them is accused of attempted murder.