Portland Police declared a riot Monday evening after about 200 demonstrators marched to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s residence to demand that he resign.
Police reported that an “arson fire” was started in the area. Rioters also broke windows and attempted to set a store on the ground floor of the Democratic mayor’s condominium building on fire.
“It was critical to secure the area to allow firefighters to respond to this dangerous situation,” police said.
Oregon State Police were also sent to Portland on Monday after a weekend of violence that saw one pro-Trump demonstrator fatally shot as Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with Trump supporters downtown.
Democratic Governor Kate Brown on Sunday announced a plan to quell the nightly violence while still allowing peaceful protests, saying state police troopers and officers from several surrounding areas will be called in to assist Portland’s police force. Meanwhile, the FBI and federal prosecutors will commit more resources to prosecute criminal offenses that arise from the demonstrations, she said.
“We all must come together—elected officials, community leaders, all of us—to stop the cycle of violence,” Brown said in a statement. “But this is only the first step. Real change will come from the hard work to achieve racial justice.”
A pro-Trump demonstrator was shot and killed Saturday night during clashes in Portland between Black Lives Matter protesters and a caravan of Trump supporters who drove trucks through the downtown streets. The man wore a hat with the logo for the right-wing group Patriot Prayer. The male suspect reportedly under investigation for the fatal shooting declared his allegiance to Antifa on social media before the incident.
“Every Oregonian has the right to freely express their views without fear of deadly violence. I will not allow Patriot Prayer and armed white supremacists to bring more bloodshed to our streets,” Brown said. “Time and again, from Charlottesville to Kenosha to Portland, we have seen the tragic outcome when armed right-wing vigilantes take matters into their own hands.”
Protests and rioting have been ongoing in Portland for more than 90 days since the police custody death of George Floyd in May.
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