The Portland Police Department officially declared criminal activity in the city riots.
Late Saturday, thousands of protesters gathered outside a federal courthouse, some of whom used vehicles to block several streets and targeted authorities that were present. In a statement, police said rioters threw rocks, bottles, launched “mortar style” fireworks into the space blocked by the fence, and tore down part of the fence with a chain.
“Portland Police declared a riot based on the conduct of people in the crowd and gave repeated warnings that anyone who remained may be subject to arrest or citation and may be subject to force including impact weapons or tear gas,” the police department said in a statement early Sunday.
Police used multiple rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowd after determining the demonstrators “maintained this level of violence and tumultuous conduct and were either intentionally or recklessly creating a grave risk of public alarm.” Over 26 arrests were made on the 59th day of consecutive protests since George Floyd’s death.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 26, 2020
Sources told the Washington Examiner last week that the FBI launched an investigation into who is carrying out and organizing the violence against law enforcement.
Over the past week, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown have said they do not need federal assistance in law enforcement as public parks, statues, and minority-owned businesses have been vandalized and targeted. On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Trump administration has exceeded its authority by sending federal troops to defend federal property.
“The use of storm troopers under the guise of law and order is a tactic that is not appropriate to our country in any way,” Pelosi told reporters.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the use of federal agents “so un-American, so in keeping with third-world countries and dictatorships.”
However, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said last week he has no intention to withdraw forces from the area.
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