Portland protesters smash City Hall windows, 23 arrested
Portland, Ore. – Protesters in Portland smashed windows at City Hall in a demonstration that started Tuesday night and stretched into Wednesday morning and police made 23 arrests as they dispersed the crowd in Oregon’s largest city, officials said.
Demonstrators in the crowd of about 150 also threw bottles and eggs at police, put metal bars in the street to try to damage police vehicles and smashed a security camera on the City Hall building, police said in a statement. The statement said officers used “crowd control munitions” in response but did not say what kind.
The violence came a day after protesters Monday night repeatedly set fire to a police union headquarters building and were repelled by officers spraying tear gas, officials said. Twenty-five people were arrested amid clashes that stretched into Tuesday morning.
Portland has been gripped by nightly protests for nearly three months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Demonstrations, often violent, have targeted police buildings and federal buildings. Some protesters have called for reductions in police budgets while the city’s mayor and some in the Black community have decried the violence, saying it is counterproductive.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump renewed calls to have Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler call in the state’s National Guard.
“They must stop calling these anarchists and agitators ‘peaceful protestors’. Come back into the real world! The Federal Government is ready to end this problem immediately upon your request,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Brown responded on Twitter to Trump’s demand, calling it “political theater.”
In July the federal government sent agents to protect federal property in downtown Portland. Crowds grew into the thousands and agents repeatedly clashed with people over a two-week period, deployed tear gas and arrested people they said were hurling objects and trying to hurt agents and damage property.
The agents pulled back from a visible presence downtown, but it’s unclear how many remained in Portland, under an agreement in which the Oregon State Police would be deployed to downtown. The State Police left after the agreed upon two-week monitoring period.