Police Disperse Rioters From Federal Building in Portland

October 7, 2020 Updated: October 7, 2020

A joint local-federal force dispersed rioters from a federal building in Portland during the latest night of unrest in Oregon’s largest city.

A group of dozens, many carrying shields, wearing helmets and body armor, marched from Elizabeth Caruthers Park in south Portland to the nearby Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building.

Support vehicles followed the marchers.

Within minutes of arrival, people blocked traffic on a street outside of the building and began rioting, according to an incident summary from the Portland Police Bureau.

In addition to flashing lights at the eyes of federal officers outside the ICE building, people hurled rocks towards the officers. Around 10:50 p.m., a rioter threw a lit incendiary device onto the roof of the building.

Because of the criminal activity, federal officers emerged from the building and dispersed the crowd, but about 30 minutes later, the rioters regrouped outside the ICE building.

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Musicians play during a march in Portland, Ore., that turned into a riot, on Oct. 6, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
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A person holds a sign while marching in Portland, Ore., Oct. 6, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
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An umbrella line is seen during a gathering in Portland, Ore., late Oct. 6, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
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Federal officers disperse rioters in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 6, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Rioters were then told that an unlawful assembly was declared because they were throwing objects over the fence. They were given two minutes to leave, but ignored the commands.

That’s when Portland officers joined with federal law enforcement to make arrests and deploy crowd control munitions to disperse the crowd.

Video footage showed a person dressed in all-black, taking cover behind a line of umbrellas—used as shields by protesters—throwing an object at the officers just before the dispersal.

During the dispersal, officers were struck with rocks.

Four people were arrested, three with Portland addresses, and one without an address listed. Charges included assaulting a public safety officer and disorderly conduct. A fifth was cited for unlawful sound amplification.

Under the new policy from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, most will likely see their charges dropped.

The Department of Homeland Security didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The event was billed as a “direct action march,” autonomously organized, with the Black Lives Matter slogan “no justice, no peace,” according to a promotion circulating on social media.

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Live streamers walk through clouds of tear gas and smoke following a crowd dispersal in Portland, Ore., late Oct. 6, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
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Police arrest a person during a riot, in Portland, Ore., early Oct. 7, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
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Gwen Boucher, a resident in a neighborhood that was the site of a riot, speaks to law enforcement officers, telling them she called 911 because her apartment filled with tear gas, in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 6, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
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Police arrest a man during a riot in Portland, Ore., Oct. 7, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

One person live streaming was punched in the face by a rioter who was upset that the person was filming. The victim said he required hospital treatment.

Harassment and assaults of people filming during protests and riots are not uncommon. Another person, an independent journalist, was told on Tuesday not to go downtown any longer.

One local resident told a portion of the crowd that she was trying to sleep. “These things would have more value if you did it during the daytime,” the resident said. Another said she appreciates the music and dancing the protests bring and blamed the escalation on law enforcement.

Prior to the dispersal, one man read the manifesto of Willem van Spronsen, saying, in part, “I am Antifa.”

Antifa is a far-left, anarcho-communist group. Spronsen was killed by law enforcement while attacking an immigrant detention center with incendiary devices in Washington state last year.

Besides an approximately two week break in September, protests and riots have taken place nearly every night in Portland since late May.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber