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Police declare protest in north Portland a riot, use tear gas to disperse crowd

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — After several hours of demonstrating, a protest in north Portland Tuesday night was declared a riot by police.

Protests calling for racial justice and police reform have been ongoing in Portland for a month since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis.

On Tuesday, police said that about 200 demonstrators began gathering at Peninsula Park around 6 p.m. About two and a half hours later, the demonstrators began marching in a northwesterly direction towards the Portland Police Association’s office in north Portland.

Soon after the protesters arrived in the area, police said the crowd blocked the road on North Lombard Street at North Campbell Avenue. Some threw projectiles such as rocks and water bottles at officers as well as shined green lasers into officers’ eyes.

At around 9:08 p.m., an unlawful assembly was declared by police and a PPB sound truck told demonstrators to disperse or face the possibility of arrest or use of force.

Over the next hour, demonstrators remained in the area and continued to engage with officers, according to police, which including more projectile throwing, movement of dumpsters and plastic trash bins into the street, attempts to set fire to the dumpsters and trash bins and deployment of orange smoke towards officers.

Police said just before 10:15 p.m., demonstrators began lighting commercial grade fireworks and throwing them at officers.

It was then that police declared the event a riot and told protesters to disperse to the east.

A FOX 12 crew reported seeing several arrests.

By about 11 p.m., a group of about 50 to 100 people remained and officers continued to push them east.

At one point, they blocked the road with garbage bins and started a fire near North Lombard Street and North Albina Avenue.

Around midnight, demonstrators who had not dispersed began marching southbound Northeast MLK Boulevard from Northeast Lombard Street towards the PPB North Precinct. Police said nearly 85 demonstrators took several lanes of traffic on Northeast MLK Boulevard and were accompanied by several vehicles. As the demonstrators arrived at the precinct, the sound truck admonished the crowd, declaring another unlawful assembly.

Police said at 12:46 a.m., demonstrators set a large fire in a dumpster they had pushed in to Northeast Killingsworth Street near the north side of the precinct. Officers began to disperse the crowd and demonstrators continued to throw projectiles. Most demonstrators left the area by 1:15 a.m.

Police have not yet released additional information on the arrests made.

Last week, protesters gathered at the North Precinct and vandalized the building.

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