Demonstrators Attempt Break-in Of Federal Courthouse


Photo: KATU

Demonstrators tried to break in to the Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland, set several fires and vandalized city, federal and private buildings through early Wednesday Morning.

Here's the account from Portland Police:

On July 21, 2020, several groups of people gathered throughout Portland to include Revolution Hall, City Hall, and Lownsdale and Chapman Squares. The groups marched and rallied for several hours. Around 9 p.m., most of the groups converged on Southwest 3rd Avenue outside the Justice Center and the Federal Courthouse. During this time, the large group of a couple thousand people blocked Southwest 3rd Avenue, danced, and made speeches.

Around 10:15 p.m., members of the group were spotted bringing plywood to the Justice Center. At 10:40 p.m., members of the group started to kick the front doors of Central Precinct while others dragged a large metal fence to the west side of the Federal Courthouse. At 11 p.m., several group members kicked and pounded on plywood attached to the west exterior glass doors of the Federal Courthouse. The people who kicked and pounded on the plywood were using hammers, crowbars and other pry tools. These people carried bats and shields as well as wore helmets and gas masks. Soon after, at 11:05 p.m., the group breeched the west side doors of the Federal Courthouse.

At 11:12 p.m., Federal Law Enforcement began dispersing the crowd using crowd control munitions. The group moved westbound on Southwest Main Street, but soon after, the group returned back to Southwest 3rd Avenue. When the group returned to Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street, they aggressively ran towards the portico on the west side of the Federal Courthouse. At 11:25 p.m., Federal Law Enforcement once again dispersed the crowd.

Around 12:30 a.m., group members once again converged on the west side of the Federal Courthouse. This time, the group set a fire outside the west side doors located on the portico. Federal Law Enforcement exited the building and began to disperse the crowd.

At 12:45 a.m., the group collected fences and road barricades and began advancing on the Federal Courthouse using pieces of the fence as a shield. When people reached the portico on the west side of the Federal Courthouse they began stacking up pieces of the fence and barricades, which created a hazard to those who needed to exit the building.

Around 1:00 a.m., some people associated with the group opened a fire hydrant at Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Taylor Street and added soap to the water causing a hazard downtown. Some other people downtown set several small fires while other people vandalized and spray painted both city, federal, and private property. At 1:27 a.m., another fire was lit outside an exit door on the south side of the Federal Courthouse and the group successfully tore off a large piece of plywood protecting some glass doors on the west side of the building. At 1:45 a.m., Federal Police Officers once again were forced to disperse the crowd west from the building. During the dispersal, a large fire was started in the middle of Lownsdale Square.

Over the next several hours, Federal Police Officers continued to disperse the crowd westbound and the group slowly dissipated.

Portland Police were not present during any of the activity described. Portland Police did not engage with any crowds and did not deploy any CS gas. No arrests were made by Portland Police.

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