Police in Portland, Oregon, declared a riot after a group of violent protesters ignited a downtown police precinct and pelted it with rocks during unrest that followed the grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case, according to reports.
“To those who have gathered outside of Central Precinct on Southwest 2nd Avenue. This gathering has been declared a riot,” police said in a tweet.
“Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to arrest, citation, or the use of crowd control agents including, but not limited to, impact weapons and/or OC munitions (Oleoresin Capsicum). Leave now,” it added.
One of the rioters flung a homemade Molotov cocktail toward cops outside the precinct, where an awning caught fire, a video shared by police on Twitter showed.
Three officers suffered minor injuries as they dispersed the rioters, officials said. Several arrests were made, but no details were immediately released.
The mayhem erupted after two cops were shot and wounded late Wednesday in Louisville, Kentucky, during protests over a grand jury ruling on the fatal police shooting of Taylor, a black woman who was killed in her home during a raid in March.
The officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police said. One underwent surgery and the other was described as being alert and in stable condition, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
A suspect was taken into custody, according to interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder, who did not identify the person or indicate possible charges, according to the news outlet.
The grand jury decided that none of the three white cops involved in the raid on Taylor’s apartment would be charged for causing her death. One of them was indicted on charges of endangering her neighbors during the shooting.
In Portland, federal officers assisting city police shot impact munitions on downtown streets a half-mile away from the federal courthouse that President Trump has vowed to protect, the Oregonian reported.
Hundreds of people filled Southwest Third Avenue in front of the Justice Center while videos showed a drum line that played along to chants of “Whose life mattered? Breonna Taylor!”
“A mass gathering devolved into a riot after individuals broke windows, vandalized and lit fires to the Justice Center, and threw Molotov cocktails towards officers,” police said in a statement.
“Due to the ongoing criminal behavior and vandalism to the precinct, an unlawful assembly was declared and all persons were told over loudspeaker to immediately leave the area and the street,” they said.
“Even though the group was told to exit the area and the street, they still stood of outside Central Precinct and continued their criminal behavior. At 10:06 p.m., officers began to disperse the crowd blocking Southwest 2nd Avenue outside of Central Precinct,” the statement added.
“As officers dispersed the crowd, both commercial grade fireworks and glass bottles were thrown towards them,” it said. “Around 10:16 p.m., the group returned to the area of Central Precinct and the north side of the Justice Center was lit on fire. Out of concern that the fire could spread, causing an extreme life safety concern, the incident was declared a riot.”
Meanwhile, other anti-police protests also took place across the US, including in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta and Denver.
In LA, hundreds of people – many carrying signs in support of Black Lives Matter and defunding the police — marched downtown chanting “No justice, no peace,” according to ABC 7.
One person was seen spray-painting graffiti on a building and another demonstrator tried to damage a building with a hammer before being subdued by another person, the news outlet reported.
Police did not report and major incidents, however.
In San Diego, several hundred people marched downtown led by a “wall of mom” clad in matching yellow T-shirts and chanting Taylor’s name and other social justice slogans, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Later in the night, a group of protesters descended on the city’s police headquarters, where they clashed with officers. At least three people were arrested, but a police watch commander said early Thursday that he had no information about any charges.
One protester, a black woman who did not give her name, said the grand jury decision in Louisville was a “slap on the wrist,” adding that she love being black but that it “comes with a lot of obstacles,” the paper reported.
One sign seen at a march in the city read: “They murdered a woman in her sleep & the only charge was for the bullets that missed.”
In Atlanta, meanwhile, dozens marched downtown and state troopers deployed tear gas to disperse them, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“I’ll be here all night as long as we’re marching,” a 19-year-old said, according to the newspaper.
At Cleopas Johnson Park, where about 50 people gathered, Jared Sawyer of the Tired Movement read the names of the three cops who were involved in the Taylor shooting. Some of the people held signs with the slain 26-year-old EMT’s name.
Atlanta resident Deja Bellard said she hadn’t planned to come to the protest but did so anyway because she is “tired of people of color dying,” the Journal-Constitution reported.
Earlier Wednesday night, marchers and members of the National Guard clashed outside the state Capital. Som yelled “Pigs!” “Murderers!”
No arrests were immediately reported.
And in Denver, a driver struck a woman in a crowd of demonstrators following a rally in front of the Colorado Capitol building, the Denver Post reported.
The woman, who identified herself only by her first name Kate, said she was not badly hurt in the incident.
“I was kind of going up on the hood and I was like, ‘No, I’m not doing this,’ and I rolled over to the side,” the woman said moments after the incident, according to the paper. “He wasn’t gonna stop even though I was, like, on his hood.”
She said she showed up to the rally because “they let Breonna Taylor’s murderers off.”
Police said they detained a suspect, but have not released any details.
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