Photo: Portland Police
Demonstrators protested outside of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's condo in Northwest Portland Monday night causing police to declare a riot.
Portland Police report a group began by gathering in the North Park Blocks near Northwest Park Avenue and Northwest Couch Street. About 10:00 p.m., a march began in the street to the area of Northwest 10th Avenue and Northwest Glisan Street. Some in the crowd began lighting off what appeared to be illegal commercial-grade fireworks. A fire was lit in a garbage can in the street. Some windows were broken and walls were defaced with graffiti. In an attempt to deescalate, officers stayed out of sight and monitored the situation from a distance. However, the vandalism and burning continued. People were seen burglarizing a business, taking furniture out, and throwing it on the fires in the street.
At 11:05 p.m., due to the ongoing criminal behavior, the incident was declared an unlawful assembly and all persons were told over loudspeaker to immediately leave the area by traveling to the west. Failure to adhere to this order may subject them to arrest, citation, or crowd control agents, including, but not limited to, tear gas and/or impact weapons.
About 2 minutes later, officers observed someone throw burning material through a broken window into a ground-level business in a large, occupied apartment building. Out of concern that the fire could spread, causing an extreme life safety concern, the incident was declared a riot.
Arson Investigators are looking for the suspect who started the fire.
Over loudspeaker, participants in the gathering were told that the area was closed to all persons, including media and legal observers, to allow firefighters to respond and extinguish the fires. Few, if any, of the persons complied.
Officers began to move the crowd. Immediately officers reported rocks and paint balloons being thrown at them. Arrests were made. As the crowd moved away, some attempted to stack debris in the road to create barricades. Officers cleared them. At least one more dumpster was lit on fire.
Over the next couple of hours, officers continued to move rioters in an attempt to prevent them from reconvening at the site of the riot. More selective arrests were made when appropriate. By 2:00 a.m., most of the participants in the gathering had left the area.
During this series of events, officers deployed some crowd control munitions. However no CS gas was used.
Nineteen arrests were made. Some of those arrested were in possession of weapons, including knives and at least one expandable baton.