The violent mob gathered at Elizabeth Caruthers Park, several blocks north of the ICE facility. Once the crowd numbered around 200 people, they marched out. Online posts made about the event said that they would be marching for the “total abolition” of law enforcement as well as the prison system. The groups that organized the event also shared photos showing several demonstrators holding anti-ICE signs such as “Melt ICE” and “End ICE,” which made it clear who their target was.
When they got outside the ICE facility a little after 9 p.m., they stopped marching and started chanting slogans like “Stolen people, stolen land!” and “Abolish ICE.” These chants were accompanied with people playing instruments like drums and guitars.
Officers from the Federal Protective Service (FPS) issued announcements warning the mob to not vandalize the building. These calls went unheeded and around a dozen or so people broke off from the main crowd to break several of the building's windows and spray paint some parts of its walls.
By 10 p.m., the FPS officers in the facility had had enough and around three dozen of them went out of the building to push the crowd away from the federal property. Crowd control munitions, such as pepper balls, were used. At around the same time, squads from the PPB arrive to help the federal officers by declaring the gathering to be an unlawful assembly and warning that anybody who did not leave would be subjected to more crowd control munitions or even arrest. Many of the rioters responded by throwing rocks and bottles at both the PPB and the FPS.
Due to pressure from the police, the mob splintered and started making their way north, back to Elizabeth Caruthers Park. But by 10:30 p.m., they regrouped and returned to the ICE facility, where they continued to chant slogans and cause chaos. One protester even brought a loudspeaker to make a speech about Oregon's long history of racism and enacting racist policies.
Before 11 p.m., several rioters broke three more windows in the ICE facility, which made the FPS officers come back outside and once again push the rioters out into the street, where the PPB, which brought more officers, can better handle them.
Around this time, the PPB declared a riot due to the immense volume of projectiles thrown at police officers. A report said that they were hit with rocks, full soda cans and even a hammer, leading to several officers getting injured.
After the mob was once again forced to retreat north, several rioters started a bonfire nearby using a mattress, the contents of several garbage cans and a picnic table taken from a nearby restaurant. This drew the condemnation of the area's residents, many of whom berated the mob from their windows.
By midnight, the rioters came back to the ICE facility, which prompted the police to disperse the crowd using tear gas. The crowd disappeared by 1:30 a.m. Two arrests were made; Joshua Buckley, 30 and Mark Putnam, 25, who were both arrested and charged with second-degree disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer. Unfortunately, thanks to a policy enacted by Multnomah County's new district attorney, Mike Schmidt, these charges will be dropped.
Hours before the riot, Police Chief Chuck Lovell made a statement saying that he knew how the violence can end. (Related: “Kill a cop, save a life:” Portland rioters chant and cheer for the MURDER of police officers.)
“The solution is in a critical mass of community and partners coming together to denounce this criminal activity and call it out as it does not represent what we know our community at large wants or values. The solution includes broad support for the police to do their job in exhausting and challenging circumstances.”
“The solution also includes elected officials and people in positions of power coming together in support of the real change, but against those who continue to feel empowered to act in a way that devalues our City with every brick thrown, every fire lit, and every crime committed.”
Lovell praised the PPB officers who continue to respond to the rioting even though they know there is a high chance of them being injured by rocks and fireworks. While he thanked them for their grit and determination to continue serving Portland until the violence ends, he admitted that their morale was very low.
Lovell further stated that the stakes for Portland are very high because “the world is watching.” He would much rather have Portland known to be a place where leaders can come together and inspire great change, rather than a place where rioting, civil unrest and mass violence occur on a nightly basis.
Stay updated on the nightly rioting and civil unrest in Portland by reading the articles at Rioting.news.