Protesters pelted Portland police with stones and concrete on the 72nd night of demonstrations in Oregon, with some of the crowd shining lasers at police to try and blind cops
- Portland police said Friday night they were pelted with stones and concrete as officers tried to monitor the 72nd night of demonstrations
- Police in the city of Oregon said rioters were also ‘shining lasers trying to blind cops’
- Hours before Donald Trump used a New Jersey fundraiser to criticize events and said anarchists and ‘mobs’ had run wild in Portland
- On Thursday evening, the mayor of Portland called on protesters to calm down
Portland police said Friday night they had been attacked with rocks and chunks of concrete after the 72nd consecutive night of protest plunged into violence again.
Officers said some protesters were trying to blind officers by shining light into their eyes.
Amid the chaos, police tweeted apologies to local residents for the disruption and noise, with officers using a sound truck to warn protesters to leave the scene, declaring it an illegal meeting at 9:45 PM.
“Cops get stones and chunks of concrete thrown at them,” the police tweeted.
Individuals in the crowd shine with lasers to blind cops.
The sound car gives warnings and directions to those participating in the illegal assembly to disperse.
Protesters in Portland took to the streets with improvised shields on Friday night
The group, dressed in black, marched from Laurelhurst Park to the Penumbra Kelly Building
Portland police tweeted Friday night that stones and concrete were being thrown
“Our apologies to the neighbors who are disturbed by the speaker on the sound truck. We know it’s late.
“We have to keep our distance to prevent the items from being used as weapons against us.”
The turmoil came hours after Donald Trump told supporters at a fundraising campaign in New Jersey that the city of Portland had been taken over by a “mob” of “anarchists.”
Trump said Democrats would have all American cities follow Portland’s lead if Joe Biden wins the November election.
Friday night, more than 100 protesters gathered at 8:30 p.m. in Laurelhurst Park in Southeast Portland, said Oregon Live.
A social media flyer promoting the event told people to wear black and many were dressed head to toe in black.
People handed out handmade plywood shields in preparation for a possible clash with the police.
A group of about a dozen protesters were practicing shield formations, the site reported, and a demonstrator led the group, helping them place their shields in an effective wall.
The march started around 9:20 PM and arrived after approximately 25 minutes at the Penumbra Kelly Building, which is shared by the city and county police – the scene of frequent clashes between the protesters and the police.
Protesters in Portland were taught Friday night to use their plywood shields in formation
Protest leaders instructed those wearing shields how to behave and position
The group, in Laurelhurst Park, lined up to claim their ‘armor’ for Friday night’s protest
As night fell, the group headed for the Penumbra Kelly Building in Portland – a site of clashes
Police calls to disperse the protesters were met with outrage.
The face-off went on until after 10:45 PM – an hour after police declared the meeting illegal.
At around 10:50 PM, a person walked past the demonstrator line and approached the building. Police quickly detained the person.
This week’s clashes have fueled tension after an agreement last week between state and federal officials appeared to offer a brief reprieve.
The Democratic Kate Brown government deal called on agents from the US Customs and Border Protection, US Marshals Service and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to withdraw from their defense of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse effective July 30.
But after a brief reprieve over the weekend, protest activities continued in other parts of the city every evening, with the Portland Police Department, the local sheriff’s deputies and, in some cases, Oregon State Police troopers on the front lines. , while protesters demand an end to police funding.
Protests have continued unabated in Portland since May 25 following the death of Floyd, who died after a white Minneapolis police officer held him by the neck for more than nine minutes.
In Portland, civil disobedience prompted Trump to send federal agents to guard the federal courthouse, which increasingly became the target of demonstrations that often turned violent.
It was a move meant to quell the unrest, but the presence of federal agents instead amplified protesters and created a focal point for the protests each night amid concerns that Trump was overstepping the limits of the powers of the federal police.