Portland police declared an unlawful protest Thursday night in South Portland after rioters began throwing projectiles at officers, lit fires and vandalized an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building. In the past 80 days, police have declared a riot at least 13 times as unrest continues to grow.
Police say a group of about 100 people gathered outside the ICE building around 10 p.m and began blocking traffic. A little after 11 p.m rioters began tampering with the gate surrounding the building and the glass windows on the building. Police say some people began spray painting port holes on the building so that Federal Protective Service (FPS) could not see out while other rioters vandalized the building with graffiti.
When FPS officers exited the building rioters began throwing rocks and bottles at the officers and launched commercial grade fireworks toward them. Police declared an unlawful assembly early Friday morning. Three individuals were arrested. All three were charged with interfering with a peace officer, while another was charged with disorderly conduct and a third with harassment.
To those near SW Bancroft St and S Bond Ave:
This gathering has been declared an unlawful assembly.
All persons near SW Bancroft St and S Bond Ave must disperse by traveling to the NORTH. You are ordered to disperse immediately.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 21, 2020
An unlawful assembly is a civil disturbance that constitutes a clear and present danger of riot, disorder, interference with traffic upon the public streets or when another immediate threat to public safety, peace or order appears, according to Portland Police.
A riot is when six or more people engage in violent behavior and risk causing harm to others, per the same report. (RELATED: Inside The Riots: These Reporters Were On The Ground In Portland For Five Nights)
Meanwhile another group of protesters marched to the Portland police union office Thursday night without incident and later peacefully disbursed.
“The goal right now is to disrupt the peace,” said Erandi Jones-Vega who was addressing the peaceful protesters, according to The Oregonian. “If you’re here right now you need to be loud. You need to be exhausted. Because we’re exhausted.”
Protesters chanted “My neck. My back. We gonna take these streets back” and “No cops. No KKK no fascist USA,” while others held signs reading “Reparations,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Abolish Police” and “Silence Perpetuates Violence,” according to the same report.
Attacks on the ICE building come as police released a timeline showing a riot has been declared at least a dozen times, while projectiles have been thrown at officers at least 55 nights of protests, fires were set during at least 40 nights of protests and fireworks have been used during at least 29 nights of protests.