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Police: 'This Event Has Been Declared a Riot'

Violence breaks out in Portland, Oregon
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2020 12:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Things got ugly in Portland on Saturday night when protesters set a police union building ablaze and authorities told them to move on—or else. "This event has been declared a riot," the Portland Police Bureau tweeted, per CNN. "Move to the east now. If you do not move to the east you will be subject to arrest or use of force to include crowd control munitions. Leave the area now." The AP reports that police soon put out the fire and began clearing the downtown area, at times using teargas. Police also tweeted that protesters were removing fencing from outside a federal courthouse and using it to make barricades; seven arrests followed. A tweeted video shows a federal officer hitting a protester with a baton while another sprayed him with liquid.

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Earlier Saturday, police said some federal officers won't work in the police incident command center anymore—a decision CNN linked to the uproar over unidentified federal officers arresting people and throwing them into vans. In fact, Newsweek reports that Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is suing multiple federal agencies over what she calls "unlawful law enforcement." For his part, President Trump tweeted Sunday that "we are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators." Indeed, Portland protests against police brutality have gone on for 50 nights. Overshadowed amid all this: protesters' actual demands, which include educational reforms and cutting $50 million from the Portland police budget. More on that at UniteOregon and the Press Herald. (Read more protests stories.)

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