Hundreds of protesters gathered in Portland (Oregon) on Wednesday, August 5, and Thursday, August 6, as protests denouncing police violence continued for the seventy-first day. On Wednesday, protests occurred in East Portland and police declared the event a riot and used tear gas to disperse crowds. Reportedly, demonstrators marched to the Portland East Police Precinct and vandalised the building. Authorities claim that some of the demonstrators attempted to commit arson, forcing some 20 police personnel to be trapped in the precinct. A riot was also declared by police on Tuesday night, August 4.
On Thursday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler urged peaceful demonstrators to avoid involvement in any potentially unrestful protests, citing Tuesday's and Wednesday's actions. However, protests continued on Thursday evening outside the Portland East Police Precinct, and by 22:20 (local time) police in riot gear were urging participants to move away from the precinct, forcing them towards Stark Street and blocking traffic in the process. No injuries or arrests were reported in the protests.
Further protests are likely in the near term, and a heightened security presence is to be anticipated in the vicinity of any protest.
Wednesday was the first time that state police have used tear gas since Oregon's governor Kate Brown announced on July 29 the phased withdrawal of federal officers from Portland. Protesters were demanding federal officers step down from their role of protecting the federal courthouse, the site of much of the unrest in recent weeks.
Protests began worldwide after US citizen George Floyd died while being arrested by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. The four arresting police officers were subsequently fired and detained, and one has since been charged with second-degree murder. Protests have since spread to several cities across the US, with solidarity protests taking place throughout the world.
Individuals in Portland are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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