By Associated Press • 

Portland police, protesters clash for second consecutive night

By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police and protesters in Portland, Oregon, have clashed for the second night in a row and the city’s police chief says the ongoing violence is harming the city’s image.

The high-profile clashes outside a U.S. courthouse in Portland, Oregon, have largely stopped since Democratic Gov. Kate Brown reached a deal that called for the draw down of federal agents sent by the Trump administration to protect the building.

But the turmoil on the streets has continued miles away from the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, as demonstrators rallying to defund the local police force get into confrontations with officers late at night. Police respond by declaring the events riots — allowing them to use tear gas and other non lethal efforts to disperse the crowds.

Officers Wednesday night clashed with protesters outside a precinct station 6  miles from the courthouse after they removed what they initially believed was an explosive device but later determined was not explosive.

Police said the protesters started a fire, spray painted over security cameras, shined green lasers and other lights at officers. Several media outlets reported that protesters pulled away plywood covering the front doors of the precinct building and slammed them with rocks and other objects,

In protests that started Tuesday night and lasted into early Wednesday morning, officers made three arrests after demonstrators set fires, erected barricades in a street and tried to break into the police union headquarters, Portland media outlets reported.

Police said someone also fired a gun during that night of unrest and that a pickup truck accelerated into the crowd while pushing an unoccupied motorcycle in front of it.

No one was injured in either incident. Police have interviewed the driver of the truck but so far have made no arrests. Police did not use tear gas during the demonstration.

Meanwhile, city officials said they are starting to monitor for any potential long-term pollution from tear gas that was released by federal agents night after night near the courthouse before those protests ended last week in an area about a mile from the Willamette River.

Police Chief Chuck Lovell, who is Black, said he was concerned that the national attention on the protests and the resources needed to police them were hurting what he called the “beautiful, vibrant city” of Portland. Police have arrested more than 400 people since late May, he said. U.S. agents arrested at least 94 people on federal charges through July 30.

“This is not forwarding the goals of things that are going to lead to better outcomes for people of color," Lovell said. “This movement is very powerful and I feel like the violence has taken away from it in a really kind of concerning way.”

He added: “I think it’s really dependent on Portland as a community to really say we’re not going to tolerate this.”

The Portland protests have happened for 69 consecutive days since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis.

The clashes prompted President Donald Trump to send federal agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to guard the courthouse — a move that was intended to quell the unrest but instead reinvigorated demonstrators and created a focal point for the protests each night.

Demonstrators tossed fireworks, flares, rocks, ball bearings and bottles at the federal agents and used power tools to try to bring down a fence protecting the courthouse. U.S. agents responded each night with multiple rounds of tear gas, pepper balls and rubber bullets in an escalation of violence that led to injuries to demonstrators and federal agents.

On Wednesday, the city cleaned out six storm drains near the federal courthouse where the tear gas was used almost every night.

Workers have taken samples from the sediment in the drains to test for zinc, lead, copper and chromium — all found in tear gas — as officials worried about chemical residue washing off trees, grass and office buildings and making its way to the river. Portland will test water flows into the river after the next big rainstorm.

“We know that a certain amount of these chemicals have settled into the city’s storm drains. We are going to remove as much as possible to prevent that material from being flushed into the Willamette River," said Matt Criblez, the city’s environmental services compliance manager.


Associated Press writer Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho, contributed to this report.




Time to call the National Guard governor! This has to stop.

Bill B

We don't need the national guard, just Portland Police and State Police to do their jobs.

Bill B

.... without constraints

Don Dix

And all along Wheeler and Brown have told us it was the presence of the feds that were the focal point of riots, destruction, and violence (most knew better). Both have been conspicuously silent since the feds withdrew. So what's the latest lame excuse to duck reality -- constipation?


Right on, Don. Constipation on the part of the mayor and council!


Bill B: Looks like calling in the National Guard may just be a viable option after all. You allege that the Portland Police could handle this easily if the restraints were removed. I think you are missing a couple of points...?

After Gov. B put Oregon's nose in the mouth of DHS and would not let go until agreeing to using the OSP to protect federal property in lieu of the feds, it was only a matter of time before that whole process got back stabbed, which it did when the Portland City Council mandated that those arrested during the demonstrations and protests would not be prosecuted. It was less than 24 hours after making that announcement that OSP pulled out of the deal and are no longer putting their lives on the line. How long before the feds are back in town?

Lastly, your comment, ".... without constraints", really misses the point on why there is all of this hullabaloo going on in Portland in the first place. It is because of a lack of restraints exercised by local law enforcement that we are in this predicament in the first place. The people are crying out for "restraint" and then there's Bill B urging the cops to go in and bash a few heads, break some bones, and maybe even mortally wound someone (God forbid)!


Bill B said no such thing.

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