Portland police declared a riot after the Multnomah County headquarters building was set on fire Tuesday night.
Rioters vandalized the Multnomah Building, the seat of government for Multnomah County, with graffiti before a group started a “large” dumpster fire, according to a statement from Portland police.
Another fire was started in a different dumpster which was then allegedly rolled toward the Multnomah Building. Rioters then began throwing ignited paper inside the building to start a fire after having cracked the glass windows with rocks, police said. However, the ignited paper did not work and rioters began spraying lighter fluid inside the building which sparked a fire, according to the police report.
Police declared the riot after “individuals vandalized, repeatedly smashed first floor windows with rocks and threw burning material into an office,” according to a tweet from the Multnomah County sheriff.
.@PortlandPolice has declared the gathering near the Multnomah Building a riot after individuals vandalized, repeatedly smashed first floor windows with rocks and threw burning material into an office. https://t.co/PtByF6Gx6h
— Multnomah Co Sheriff (@MultCoSO) August 19, 2020
The department retweeted a video posted by KOIN News reporter Hannah Ray Lambert that captures the chaos.
The video shows an office on fire, with protesters in the background chanting “What did you see? Didn’t see sh**!”
Another video posted by Lambert shows a large crowd marching to the Multnomah County building chanting “No cops. No prison. Total abolition.” (RELATED: ‘I Was Trying To Get Out The Way’: Portland Protesters Attacked A Man And Woman After Truck Crashed)
Crowd of at least 200 just marched to the Multnomah County building on SE Hawthorne and Grand chanting “No cops. No prison. Total abolition.” pic.twitter.com/6rtnm27FKg
— Hannah Ray Lambert (@TheHannahRay) August 19, 2020
Two people were arrested by Wednesday morning, according to Fox 12.
“Tonight, the Multnomah County Building, the headquarters for the largest safety net provider in Oregon, was vandalized and set on fire by a small group of protesters,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said in a statement on Twitter.
Statement by Chair @dkafoury: Tonight, the Multnomah County Building, the headquarters for the largest safety net provider in Oregon, was vandalized and set on fire by a small group of protestors. https://t.co/GnCyl1ivvQ
— Multnomah County, OR (@multco) August 19, 2020
Multnomah County Sheriff Michael Reese added to Kafoury’s tweet that “the unprovoked actions by those who engaged in criminal behavior is reprehensible. It is simply violence and serves no legitimate purpose. It does nothing to solvate issues our community faces.”