Riot declared in downtown Portland again when U.S. courthouse attacked early Saturday
For the third time this week, a riot was declared in downtown Portland when the Hatfield Federal Courthouse was attacked around 4 a.m. on the Fourth of July.
The area around the courthouse remained an active situation for a time, authorities said. But by 6 a.m. Saturday, the area seemed much more calm with a group of about 15 people dancing.
No arrests were announced immediately.
The attack was the second in a row. One person was arrested on federal charges for damaging the courthouse yesterday. Eight other people were arrested on state charges.
Saturday's incident began when some demonstrators launched commercial fireworks from the nearby spot where the historic Elk Statue had stood until it was removed earlier this week after damage from protester-set fires. Around 11 p.m. Friday, demonstrators from the Justice Center marched to Waterfront Park, then back again 45 minutes later to the area of Southwest Third and Salmon and Madison, police said.
Shortly before 1 a.m., protesters began throwing rocks at the courthouse and fired commercial fireworks toward the Justice Center, police said. Some people dragged material and barricades and began to make a fence in the area of Southwest Third and Main. Many demonstrators were carrying makeshift shields and sticks, police said.
Several small fires were lit throughout the night, including some dumpster fires, but Portland Fire & Rescue personnel were not required. Several arguments and physical fights broke out within the group of demonstrators, but they all broke up without police intervention.
In an effort to de-escalate the situation, police said they stayed away from the demonstrators because there was not an identified life safety risk.
At about 4 a.m., the courthouse was attacked. A riot was declared and efforts were made to get the crowd to disperse, including numerous warnings to leave the area or be subject to arrest or force. Police said no CS or tear gas was used.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can find their story here.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.