Riot declared in Portland after fire set at police union building

Portland Police declared a riot on Monday night after a fire was set at the city’s police union headquarters amid ongoing protests against racial injustice.

Protesters marched on the police building during the 89th night of demonstrations in the city, with some chanting the name of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot in the back by police in Wisconsin Sunday evening.

After arriving, one protester climbed on the roof to unfurl a banner while others spray-painted the building, according to The Oregonian.

A riot was declared by police when a fire was set outside the building. Authorities told those in the area to leave and disperse immediately. Police would later report how there were “two fires set virtually simultaneously,” with another occurring in the back of the building.

“Video posted of the arson fire set at the @PPAVigil offices tonight,” Portland Police wrote on Twitter. “This building is in a residential neighborhood.”

Dozens of police officers had surrounded the Portland Police Association building after protesters had largely moved away, although 100 demonstrators remained across the street, the paper reported. When police removed barricades blocking traffic, drivers in the area would accidentally see themselves between officers and shouting protesters.

Officers originally left the area until the crowd returned to light more fires against the building and to its cloth awning, authorities said.

Police added that the second round of fires set “required officers to move in again to prevent the fire from spreading.” Several people were arrested and police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

They advised protesters to not “harass or throw things at officers trying to leave the area.” The severity of the damage is unclear at this time, according to Portland Police. continue reading

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