Riots Declared in Portland, Seattle

It's another tense night between law enforcement and protesters
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2020 6:11 AM CDT
In Portland, a Riot Declared
Federal officers advance on demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Authorities declared a riot early Sunday in Portland, Ore., as protesters breached a fence surrounding the city's federal courthouse where US agents have been stationed. The move came after police declared a riot Saturday afternoon in Seattle. Portland police described via Twitter the “violent conduct of people downtown” as creating a “grave risk of public alarm," reports the AP. Police demanded people leave the area surrounding the courthouse around 1:20am Sunday and said that those who fail to do so may be arrested or subject to teargas and impact weapons. By 1:40am, both federal officers and Portland police could be seen on the streets, surrounding the courthouse, attempting to clear the area and deploying tear gas. Protesters remained in the streets past 2:30am, forming lines across intersections and holding makeshift shields. Multiple arrests were made, but it wasn't clear how many.

In the hours leading up to the riot declaration in Portland, thousands gathered for another night of protests as federal agents showed no signs of abating. Crowds began to march toward the city’s federal courthouse around 9:15pm. In Seattle, meanwhile, police retreated to a precinct early Sunday, just hours after declaring a riot during large demonstrations in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood near where weeks earlier people had set up an “occupied protest zone” that stretched for blocks. Some demonstrators lingered after officers filed into the department's East Precinct around 1am, but most cleared out a short time later. Authorities said rocks, bottles, fireworks, and mortars were thrown at officers as they attempted to clear the area using flash bangs and pepper spray. Police said they arrested at least 45 people for assaults on officers, obstruction, and failure to disperse. Twenty-one officers were left with mostly minor injuries.

(Read more Portland, Oregon stories.)

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