Portland rioters, US agents clash near federal building

Some in the crowd vandalized building security cameras, shined laser lights at agents and threw rocks at them, police said


By Associated Press

PORLTAND, Ore. — Protesters and U.S. agents assigned to protect federal property in Portland clashed late Wednesday outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Building in another night of violence for Oregon's largest city.

Some people in a crowd of about 200 disabled or vandalized building security cameras, shined laser lights at the agents and threw rocks and bottles at them, Portland police said in a statement issued Wednesday.

A march on the Portland police union headquarters drew a rapid police response after someone set a fire next to the building Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)
A march on the Portland police union headquarters drew a rapid police response after someone set a fire next to the building Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

During the clashes, agents shot non-lethal munitions at the crowd and set off stun grenades and irritants that released green and white plumes into the air, The Oregonian/Oregonian Live reported.

One apparently injured protester was carried away by fellow demonstrators, the newspaper reported. A federal agent was injured after being hit in the leg by a rock and police made 11 arrests, the Portland police statement said.

Portland has been gripped by nightly protests for nearly three months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The demonstrations, often violent, usually target police buildings and federal buildings.

Some protesters have called for reductions in police budgets while the city’s mayor and some in the Black community have decried the violence, saying it’a counterproductive.

The Wednesday night protest followed another protest where demonstrators smashed windows at City Hall late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning and 23 people were arrested.

Demonstrators in the crowd of about 150 also threw bottles and eggs at police, put metal bars in the street to try to damage police vehicles and smashed a security camera on the City Hall building, police said in a statement.

Portland’s FBI chief on Wednesday said he is shifting the agency’s resources to focus more heavily on the nightly protests.

Associated Press
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