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Portland cops declare a riot for second night running

Portland police declared a riot for a second night running Wednesday as protesters tried to smash into an ICE building and clashed with federal agents on the 84th day of violence in the city. 

Cops fired tear gas to disperse the crowds after protesters pounded on the window of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement complex and spray-painted expletives on the walls.  

The violence came 24 hours after a 200-strong mob of protesters torched the city’s famous Multnomah Building. Demonstrations that often turn violent have racked Oregon’s biggest city for more than two months following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Footage taken Wednesday evening showed one man breaking a window at the federal building while riot police faced down demonstrators outside and protesters lit fires in the streets. 

Police claimed protesters were throwing glass bottles and ‘softball-sized rocks’ and shining lasers at federal officers leaving the ICE building, while two people were arrested before the crowd was finally cleared after 1am. Two arrests were made on charges of ‘interfering with a peace officer and disorderly conduct’, police said. 

Portland’s police chief pleaded with protesters to call off the ‘endless destruction’ as he condemned the ‘senseless criminal activity’ in the city. Officers sustained minor injuries Wednesday, a police statement said, without specifying how many were injured.

On the same day Dakotah Ray Horton, 24, was charged with assaulting a U.S. Marshals Service deputy with a baseball bat during a riot in downtown Portland on July 27. 

  

According to The Oregonian, more than 200 protesters started marching towards the ICE building at around 9.30pm last night.  Some of the protesters were seen carrying shields and wearing helmets and gas masks. 

Federal officers looked from windows as the crowd advanced on the building, while other windows in the city had signs declaring solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Some of the demonstrators pounded on the ICE windows, prompting a warning that cops would use crowd-control munitions to prevent damage to the building. 

Others ‘began shining lights and lasers at federal officers located inside of the building, police said. 

Protesters then spray-painted expletive messages on the side of the building and tried to attack its windows and security cameras. 

Footage showed one man smashing a hole in a window with what appeared to be a rock he found on the ground. 

Cops fired back with pepper balls but some protesters responded by lobbing water bottles and even toilet rolls at the dozens of officers.  

A line of heavily-armed police marched down a street to clear the crowds while a message was played over a loudspeaker ordering the protesters to disperse. 

One police officer grappled with a protester wearing a face shield while others berated him as a ‘piece of s*** fascist’.  

At one point the cops ‘bull-rushed’ towards a crowd of protesters to force them to move back, while some officers scuffled with a man on the ground.  

However, around 200 people reportedly returned to the ICE building after initially being pressed back towards Caruthers Park. 

‘Some people in the group began setting up barricades in surrounding streets and even moved a dumpster towards the ICE building,’ police said. 

‘In the past, dumpsters have been lit on fire and moved next to targeted buildings, in an attempt to set structural fires. 

‘Federal officers exited the ICE building and members of the group began throwing large rocks as well as glass bottles at them. The large rocks were described to be the size of softballs.’

On another street, one protester allegedly set a restaurant table on fire and stood dancing and beating a drum on the precipice of the blaze. 

Elsewhere, a mattress was set alight as fires were lit in residential areas of Portland – with one protester skateboarding over the fire.  

Portland Police said last night that ‘the gathering has been declared a riot’ as they ordered the crowds to disperse.  

‘All people in this area must disperse to the north. For your safety, if you reside in this area, we ask you to go inside your residence,’ cops said. 

‘Failure to comply with this order may subject you to citation or arrest, as well as subject you to the use of tear gas, crowd control agents, and/or impact weapons.’

Two people  – 30-year-old Joshua Buckley and 25-year-old Mark Putman – were arrested and charged with interfering with a peace officer and disorderly conduct. 

Both suspects were booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. 

The crowd continued blocking the street until most of the protesters were finally dispersed around 1.30am, the police department said.  

Police had also declared a riot on Tuesday after protesters lit fires, threw rocks and smashed windows at county government offices in another location. 

The fire was at the Multnomah County Building where a crowd of about 200 started fires in dumpsters, used rocks to smash first-floor windows and tossed burning material inside, police said. 

Tuesday night’s violence led to two arrests and a minor injury for an officer, prompting condemnation from police chief Chuck Lovell.

‘Breaking windows, using accelerants to ensure a fire catches and damaging property are not solutions, but further demonstrate the intent to engage in anarchy at the expense of the entire community,’ he said. 

‘To effect change, we must work to build and not destroy. This is more than property paid for by community members; these buildings host critical materials and spaces that provide essential services and support to our community at large. 

‘The damage is costing millions of dollars that could be used to help people during an already challenging time. 

‘Officers continue to respond each night, knowing they will have rocks, fireworks, and more thrown at them. They see the injuries sustained by their co-workers and wonder if this will be the night they are injured as well. 

‘Officers continue to respond in order to protect life and safety and arrest those responsible for criminal acts. Morale is low as they face what appears to be endless destruction within the City they took an oath to serve and protect. 

‘I am bolstered by their grit and determination to do everything they can each and every night to prevent a worst case scenario. 

‘The stakes are high and the world is watching. We are on the national stage right now. I would much rather be known for being leaders in change rather than nightly violence.’

The wave of anger in Portland has led to the longest-running protests in the US since the death of George Floyd on May 25. 

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white cop knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes in Minneapolis,with footage of the incident sparking a wave of anti-racism protests around the world.    

Cops in Portland have repeatedly clashed with crowds targeting the city’s federal courthouse. 

ICE has long been a target of criticism from the left, especially after the Trump administration separated thousands of migrant children from their parents. 

However, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has rejected calls from some quarters to abolish ICE, which was founded in 2003.  

Donald Trump’s administration also came under severe criticism from Democrats for sending federal forces to Portland at the height of the violence.       

Participants have repeatedly broken into the offices of a police union headquarters building and last month clashed for weeks with the federal agents. 

Also Wednesday, federal authorities announced that a Portland man was arrested and charged with assaulting a federal officer with a baseball bat in what they described as a riot on July 27 at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.

Dakotah Horton, 24, made an initial appearance in federal court on Tuesday, according to U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. 

On Wednesday, Horton was ordered detained pending further court proceedings, Williams said in a news release.

Police on Tuesday said they were trying to find Marquise Love, a 25-year-old suspected of punching and kicking a man to the ground Sunday after the man crashed his pickup truck on a sidewalk near the protests. Adam Haner was knocked unconscious and suffered two black eyes in the vicious beating. 

The incident took place shortly before 10.30pm on Sunday, just blocks away from a Black Lives Matter demonstration outside the federal courthouse. Cops say they have left Love a number of messages, urging him to hand himself in, but have so far received no response. 

Trump, meanwhile, has continued to rage at the violence in Portland, saying on Tuesday that the city was a ‘disaster’ – putting New York and Chicago in the same category. 

‘The Democrats have to start enforcing Law and Order in their cities and states,’ he said, reviving one of the key themes of his re-election campaign. 

Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News on Wednesday that Trump told him on a recent trip: ‘We’ve gotta do something about it. We send in the FBI.’ 

Asked if federal forces could return to the city, he said: ‘It looks like we’re going to have to, they’re not doing the job. We want to make sure that not just Portland’s safe but every city across the country is safe.’ 

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