Demonstrators Set Fires Inside Courthouse Fence


Photo: KATU

Federal agents from the U.S. Courthouse in Portland responded to demonstrators early Friday morning after they set fires inside of the fence around the courthouse.

Here's the account from Portland Police:

In the evening hours of July 23, 2020, a large group of more than a thousand people gathered on Southwest 3rd Avenue outside of the Justice Center and Federal Courthouse in Downtown Portland. For several hours, the group blocked traffic, and vocalized in demonstration.

At 11 p.m., group members began setting fires inside the fence that protects the Federal Courthouse. Several other people were seen shaking the fence, launching projectiles over the fence, and using different tools to try and dissemble the fence. Several people breeched the fence and Federal Police Officers came out to disperse the crowd. As Federal Police Officers dispersed the group they were hit with large projectiles, various incendiaries, and flashed with lasers.

By 1 a.m., a couple hundred people returned to the fence protecting the Federal Courthouse. These people continued to set fires, cut and breech the fence, and launch commercial grade fireworks towards the Federal Courthouse. The Federal Police Officers once again exited the Federal Court house and dispersed the crowd.

Although the Federal Police dispersed the crowd, several people remained in the streets around the area of the Federal Courthouse and engaged in violent and criminal behavior. Because of this, at 1:58 a.m., Portland Police issued public address announcements declaring an unlawful assembly. The announcements instructed the group to leave the area, moving to the north and the west. Many people stayed in the area and continued to light fires, and destruct federal courthouse property.

Over the next several hours, the group slowly dissipated.

With the exception of the sound truck announcements, 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.