A Portland, Oregon, rioter reportedly threw a Molotov cocktail at a group of police officers on Wednesday night as law enforcement declared the demonstrations in the area a riot.
Reports say that rioters also set fire to the city’s justice center.
Demonstrations in the city continued following the announcement of a criminal indictment of one officer involved in the death of Louisville, Kentucky, resident Breonna Taylor. You can read more on the indictment here.
What are the details?
According to Newsweek, demonstrators gathered in Portland’s streets following the indictment of former police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree.
The Portland Police Bureau announced that at least 74 people gathered on the Central Precinct side of the city’s Justice Center, where they reportedly “began throwing softball-sized rocks towards Central Precinct, which shattered the glass windows above the entry doors.”
The demonstrators converged on the precinct, and a riot broke out as protesters began to set fire to the building.
The bureau’s statement added, “The group continued to throw rocks through the windows, which continued to shatter glass in the entryway of the Central Precinct, making it difficult for others to safely exit the precinct due to the glass falling and the glass that covered the entryway floor.”
“Once the window was broken, group members used slingshots to launch projectiles at a high velocity through the broken glass windows of Central Precinct,” the statement continued. “Some members of the group attempted to break into the front doors of the Central Precinct lobby.”
While on the streets, police moved in on the unruly group, and at least one demonstrator threw a Molotov cocktail at a group of officers.
Authorities later attempted to clear the crowd by firing pepper balls and deploying pepper spray on the mob after declaring a riot.
The bureau added, “Officers began to disperse the crowd outside of Central Precinct again and a Molotov cocktail was thrown towards officers striking one in the foot. Portland Fire Medic was nearby and able to extinguish the flames. Had this incendiary not been stopped immediately, it could have caused serious physical injury to the officer. A second Molotov cocktail was thrown towards officers near Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street, and a third Molotov cocktail was thrown at officers near Southwest Broadway and Southwest Main Street. As the crowd was dispersed they aggressively threw rocks at officers and other projectiles.”
Twitter user Pierce Singgih shared video of the incident on Twitter, writing, “[S]omeone just threw a Molotov at Portland Police as officers moved in and declared the event a riot.”
— pierce singgih (@piercesinggih) September 24, 2020
Clear shot of the Molotov thrower in Portland. pic.twitter.com/jpBvY3Lrac
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 24, 2020
Author: Sarah Taylor