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EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS: ‘Unlawful Assembly’ Declared In Portland As Fires Burn, Federal Officers Battle With Rioters

Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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(PORTLAND, OREGON) — An “unlawful assembly” was declared early Friday morning after a large, peaceful protest turned into another night of battling in front of the Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon.

Thousands gathered Thursday evening as part of ongoing protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to Daily Caller reporters on scene. Moms were out en mass as well, linking elbow-to-elbow and forming a human barricade around the crowd. While the night began peaceful, it broke down as the time wore on – becoming a battle with federal officers once again.

Thursday’s riot crowd began by preparing for battle, with makeshift shields and umbrellas holding the line directly in front of the moms at the courthouse. The crowd became increasingly agitated as officers remained inside the courthouse, and many began banging on the fence. Others threw glass bottles and firecrackers over the fence and fires were set.

Federal officers issued multiple warnings over a loudspeaker instructing the crowd to leave the fence alone. Each time, the crowd would begin screaming and banging on the fence in an attempt to drown out the voice, according to on-scene reporters.

As the evening wore on, officers emerged from the courthouse after issuing warnings and began to try and disperse the crowd. Reporters noticed that the rioters appeared largely un-phased by the barrage of flash bombs, pellets and tear gas.

As officers went on the offensive, rioters were often seen backing up, only to regroup and head back to the courthouse. The area of downtown Portland quickly filled with thick smoke and loud explosions as rioters refused to fully disperse.

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Rioters also threw canisters back at officers, used leaf blowers to redirect the smoke and put cones over them.

The federal officers declared an unlawful assembly just after 1 a.m. Friday. A loudspeaker announcement warned rioters several times to disperse, but the crowd remained. Officers came out and tried to disperse the crowd once again, but protesters fought back again.

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After first only emerging from inside the federal courthouse, the officers changed tactics. At one point early Friday morning, officers came up from a side street where there was not a fence serving as a blockage. Federal officers successfully pushed the crowd back several blocks and a standoff occurred before officers retreated.

The night continued with rioters successfully breaching the fence at the courthouse and lighting another fire inside. Federal officials were forced to emerge multiple times and used various tactics to disperse the crowd throughout the evening. A large group of officers remained as of 4 a.m. in Portland, protecting the building.

Multiple people were arrested throughout the riot as well, according to reporters on the ground in Portland. One man appeared to try and interfere with an arrest, video footage suggests. (RELATED: Behind The Scenes Of Portland’s Riots — What’s The Biggest Difference Between This And Seattle’s CHAZ?)

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