The chief of Portland Police has called for the violence in the city to stop after it saw its 70th night of protests on Wednesday, saying ‘enough is enough’.
Meanwhile, Portland police declared a riot Wednesday for the second night running after protesters gathered outside of a police precinct in the south-east of the city.
In a press conference yesterday, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said that those ‘dedicated to just provoking a police response’ through vandalism and violence is draining police resources.
‘This is not forwarding the goals’ of the Black Lives Matter Movement, he said. Lovell, who is Black, also wrote in the New York Times on Monday that the riots were ‘drowning out the voices that need to be heard’.
Lovell said he was concerned that the national attention paid to the ongoing protests and the resources needed to police them were hurting the ‘beautiful, vibrant city’ of Portland.
Police have arrested more than 400 people since late May, he said. U.S. agents arrested at least 94 people on federal charges through July 30.
‘This is not forwarding the goals of things that are going to lead to better outcomes for people of color,’ said Lovell. ‘This movement is very powerful and I feel like the violence has taken away from it in a really kind of concerning way.’
‘I think it’s really dependent on Portland as a community to really say we’re not going to tolerate this,’ he added.
Clashes outside a courthouse in Portland have largely stopped since Democratic Gov. Kate Brown reached a deal that called for the draw down of federal agents sent by the Trump administration to protect the building – but the turmoil is far from over.
Pictured: A demonstrator kicks a tear gas canister back at federal officers during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland
Pictured: Police stand by during a protest in Portland on Tuesday. Police have arrested more than 400 people since late May according to Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell
For the past several nights, Portland police have skirmished with protesters in other parts of city, far from the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, as residents rally around a call to defund the police force.
Demonstrators are also angry at the use of tear gas by police multiple times over the summer to tamp down unrest.
Late Wednesday, Portland police declared a riot and said they believe an explosive device had been left outside a precinct. People were ordered to disperse, and some streets were closed.
Early Wednesday, police had declared a riot and made three arrests after saying demonstrators set fires, erected barricades in a street and broke into the police union headquarters.
Police said someone also fired a gun during the unrest and a pickup truck accelerated into the crowd while pushing an unoccupied motorcycle in front of it.
No one was injured in either incident. Police have interviewed the driver of the truck but so far have made no arrests. Police did not use tear gas during the demonstration.
The city also said Wednesday it is beginning to monitor for any potential long-term pollution from tear gas that was released by federal agents night after night in a two-block area less than a mile from the Willamette River.
Pictured: A driver in a pickup truck accelerates towards the crowd, hitting and dragging a motorcycle during a protest in Portland on Tuesday, Aug 4, 2020. A riot was declared early on Wednesday for the second day in a row
Residents have protested in Portland for 70 consecutive days since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. Demonstrations increasingly focused on the federal courthouse, where protesters broke glass, lit fires and tossed fireworks and other objects at law enforcement. The courthouse was also covered with graffiti.
The clashes prompted President Donald Trump to send federal agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to guard the courthouse – a move that was intended to quell the unrest but instead reinvigorated demonstrators and created a focal point for the protests each night.
Demonstrators tossed fireworks, flares, rocks, ball bearings and bottles at the federal agents and used power tools to try to bring down a fence protecting the courthouse.
U.S. agents responded each night with multiple rounds of tear gas, pepper balls and rubber bullets in an escalation of violence that led to injuries to demonstrators and federal agents.
On Wednesday, the city cleaned out six storm drains that are in the immediate vicinity of the federal courthouse where tear gas was used almost every night. The area is just a few blocks from the Willamette River.
Pictured: Police stand in front of a group of protesters in Portland on Tuesday night as they gather at Peninsula Park in the north of the city
Workers have taken samples from the sediment in the drains to test for zinc, lead, copper and chromium – all found in tear gas.
The city is also worried about chemical residue washing off trees, grass and office buildings and making its way to the river. Portland will test outflow into the Willamette after the next major rainstorm.
‘We know that a certain amount of these chemicals have settled into the city’s storm drains. We are going to remove as much as possible to prevent that material from being flushed into the Willamette River,’ said Matt Criblez, the city’s environmental services compliance manager.
The violent clashes at the courthouse have abated since July 30, when federal agents began drawing down their numbers under a deal between the governor and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
But after a quiet weekend, nightly protests have once more gained steam in other parts of the city. The demonstrators are calling for the city to defund the Portland Police Bureau and are critical of Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also police commissioner. They also want charges dropped against protesters who have been arrested in earlier protests.
Blood-soaked Portland protester chases down her ‘attacker’ after being stabbed but police say they were forced to stop investigating due to a ‘hostile crowd’
Gory footage has emerged from Portland, Oregon that shows a female protester bleeding heavily from her chest after being stabbed by another woman.
In the clip, which was posted to TikTok, a woman wearing a black face-mask pulls down her top to reveal a bloody knife wound.
The shocking video, which was shot in Lownsdale Square Park, begins with the woman shouting ‘call the police!’ while the alleged knifewoman walks away from her.
On Tuesday protesters once again took to the streets for the 69th straight day of violent demonstrations.
On Monday night, Portland Police confirmed they were called to reports of a stabbing and that a person was being treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
A Portland protester ended up being stabbed on Monday night by a woman. It happened in Lownsdale Square Park which has housed protesters for months
‘I told you not to f*** with us,’ a man can be heard saying as the victim attempts to confront the woman who had attacked her in video of the aftermath.
‘You stabbed someone, you b****,’ the man says. ‘Drop the knife ma’am — you are not in danger.’
The woman ignores the request and continues to walk away with the knife on display.
Police say the incident began after a woman entered the park to take photos and video of the area where protesters have been housed for months.
She ended up getting into an argument with another woman who then ended up stabbing her in the chest and fled the scene.
She returned a short time later and was questioned however Portland Police have not confirmed whether an arrest has been made.
They said they had ‘encountered a hostile crowd’ at the scene while trying to investigate the stabbing.
Although officers originally managed to find the knife believed to have been used, someone else picked it up and ran off with it while police were trying to secure the scene.
‘Officers were unable to safely conduct an investigation due to the hostile crowd, and supervisors made the decision to disengage,’ Portland Police said in a statement. ‘As the knife is evidence, it should be returned to police custody.’