02:21 GMT22 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Protesters in the US city of Portland set a police association building on fire prompting law enforcement to declare the gathering a riot.

    Officers were forced to put out two fires at the Portland Police Association building, named Vigil, the law enforcement said on its Twitter account.

    “This was the arson fire that prompted the riot declaration. It was set within minutes of the march reaching the @PPAVigil offices. The severity of the damage is unclear. This gathering remains a riot. Disperse immediately,” the police force wrote in a tweet accompanying a video of the blaze on Tuesday.

    ​The rioters persisted in attempts to burn down the building which in turn forced the police to carry out an unspecified number of arrests, Portland Police went on to report.

    "After officers disengaged, some in the crowd returned to the @PPAVigil offices and lit more fires against the building and to the cloth awning. Officers were forced to move in again to address the fires before they could spread. Multiple arrests have been made," a tweet read.

    ​The standoff began earlier in the night as a march against police brutality and racism, something that has happened in Portland on a nearly nightly basis since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

    Hours later, the Portland Police on Twitter began to urge protesters to refrain from any more violence toward police officers as they were disengaging.

    “Do not harass or throw things at officers trying to leave the area. We are disengaging,” Portland Police wrote.

    ​Portland, the largest city in the West Coast state of Oregon, has become the epicentre of the US protests against systemic racism and police brutality. Despite having a predominantly white population with a high standard of living, Portland has been an unofficial haven for far-left activists such as Antifa.

    Tags:
    arson, Portland, fire, Black Lives Matter, protests, U.S
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