Portland police declared a riot Wednesday night after insurgents tried to burn down a police station and attempted to run over officers with a truck.
Protesters demonstrated near the Portland Police Department’s East Precinct, which is located in a residential area. A person with a megaphone asked, “Who’s ready to raise some hell tonight?”
The crowd cheered in response, according to KOIN reporter Hannah Ray Lambert.
Rioters began attacking the police station located on the city’s east side on the 69th night of protests. Around 9:30 p.m., rioters wearing helmets and carrying shields attempted to tear down surveillance cameras at the police station. Others spray-painted the cameras to try to prevent their identities from being revealed.
Rioters tore down wood boards protecting the police station’s windows. Vandals used wooden 2x4s to smash glass windows and doors. The plywood barricade that was protecting the police station was used to start a fire at the East Precinct station.
Cops attempted to disperse the crowd and were hit with projectiles, including “heavy rocks the size of shot puts” and “commercial grade fireworks.” Rioters also used lasers to attempt to blind police officers. Portland police countered with tear gas and crowd control munitions.
After police dispersed the crowd, a person driving a “truck associated with the group attempted to run over several officers,” according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Police said several arrests were made.
At 2:49 a.m. Thursday, North Precinct police officers responded to reports of a shooting.
“When responding officers arrived on scene they learned an adult male victim had been shot in the foot by an unknown suspect,” the Portland Police Bureau said. “The victim was transported to a local hospital by ambulance. The victim’s medical status is unknown at this time.”
On Wednesday, Portland police identified the 32-year-old victim of a fatal shooting that occurred on July 26. Derrick James of Sandy, Oregon, was shot and killed in North Portland. His death was ruled a homicide, and an investigation is ongoing.
Shootings and homicides in Portland have spiked this year. As of the end of July 2020, there have been 376 shootings in Portland, only 12 shootings shy of 2019’s entire total, according to the Portland Police Association. In July 2019, there were 35 verified shootings, compared to 99 last month.
There were 15 homicides in Portland in July, compared to 31 homicides in all of 2019.
In June, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) pledged that he would divert $12 million from the police budget to directly support communities of color. One of the casualties of the budget cuts was the Gun Violence Reduction Team.
Daryl Turner, the president of the Portland Police Association, said disbanding the Gun Violence Reduction Team has “proven a failure with deadly consequences.”
“The dissolution of the GVRT left a void, the result of which is a rise in shootings; to pretend otherwise is negligent,” Turner said.