14 Arrested Amid Rioting in Portland Crowd Dispersed in Seattle
Rioters set fires, vandalized property, and clashed with police officers in Portland and Seattle late Thursday for the second consecutive night.
Ostensibly upset that only one police officer was charged in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, protests started in the Pacific Northwest cities, only to devolve into violence again.
In Portland, a crowd gathered around 9:10 p.m. and set fire to the Portland Police Association, a police union building that rioters have frequently targeted.
Police officers began dispersing the crowd and making arrests.
Officers disengaged from the crowd, enabling rioters to climb onto the roof of the union building. Officers then returned and made more arrests, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
By 1 a.m., most of the crowd had dispersed.
Officers ultimately arrested 14 people, including one from New York and another from South Carolina.
The previous night, video footage showed a rioter hurling a Molotov cocktail at a group of police officers, injuring one, who was caught on fire.
“This type of violence accomplishes nothing. These attacks on police officers, this destruction of property, does nothing to advance the goals of the community, the values of the community, and what we’re trying to accomplish as a police organization together with the community,” Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell told reporters at a briefing.
Rioters in Seattle created barricades blocking street traffic and lit them on fire, creating a dangerous situation that prompted a police response.
After officers forced the crowd to leave the area, firefighters moved in to douse the flames.
Unrest has shaken both Portland and Seattle since late May, as city, county, and state officials struggle to quell the violence and refuse help from the federal government.
The Trump administration said this week that officials are permitting violence and anarchy, in a step toward revoking federal funding to the cities.
Taylor, an emergency medical technician, died from gunshot wounds at her home in May.
In announcing charges against one officer involved in the execution of a search warrant on her residence, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron revealed that officers announced themselves and knocked on the door before one entered the home and was fired upon by Taylor’s boyfriend.
Officers responded by firing on the boyfriend, but some of the shots hit Taylor.
Others went through the apartment walls, putting neighbors at risk.
Brett Hankison, who was fired over the summer, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Activists wanted the officers charged with murder.
But Cameron said their actions were justified because Taylor fired first. “This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor’s death,” the law enforcement official said.
Rioters in the city on Thursday smashed windows at businesses and a library before gathering on the grounds of a church to avoid being arrested for curfew violations, the Louisville Metro Police Department announced.
At least 24 people were arrested throughout the evening for charges including unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, and riot in the first degree