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Portland Riots Read-out: August 2

Release Date: 
August 2, 2020

Bottom line:

After weeks of rioting and nightly attacks on federal officers and property, activity in the vicinity of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse continues in an overall trend of diminishing violence as a result of the increased cooperation between state and federal law enforcement. In stark contrast to the intense weekend violence in Portland over the past two months, protests around federal property remained generally peaceful, with minor incidents of malicious activity and vandalism. Elsewhere in the city, however, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) were forced to declare an unlawful assembly outside of their Southeast Precinct.

Following Wednesday’s announcement of a cooperation agreement between DHS and Oregon’s governor, Oregon State Police (OSP) stepped in to assist operations protecting the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. Saturday evening marked the third night of federal and state law enforcement cooperation on the ground. While the violence is receding, DHS will remain faithful to its mission to protect federal property and personnel; the Department’s enhanced presence on the ground will remain for the time being until it determines that the courthouse and other federal property are safe.

The past 24 hours:

By around 9:08 p.m. local time, approximately 150 protesters reported in the area of Lownsdale Square and Chapman Square (downtown) – two city parks that rioters previously used as staging areas that were cleaned out by PPB earlier in the week.

Around 9:12 p.m. local time, OSP reported a small crowd forming at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office building in the PPB southeast, located on the other side of the Willamette River from the courthouse. By 9:32 p.m. local time, approximately 150 protesters were reported at the MCSO building. PPB later reported that officers had heard chants, indicating that the crowd wanted to enter the building and burn it down. At 9:50 p.m. local time, after warning the crowd to stay off the property, Portland PD announced an unlawful assembly at their Southeast Precinct. 

By around 10:45 p.m. local time, there were approximately 600 to 700 protesters in the area of the Hatfield Courthouse and Edith Green Federal Building, spread throughout Lownsdale Square, Chapman Square, Terry Schrunk Plaza, and the surrounding streets in the area. During this time, local media reported that rioters started to remove fencing in the parks installed while it was being cleared out earlier in the week.

At around 11:50 p.m. local time an individual was seen open carrying a modern sporting rifle – commonly known as an AR-15 – near the courthouse. Minutes later, another was observed walking between the Hatfield Courthouse and Edith Green Federal Building with a Molotov Cocktail. The U.S. Marshals Service later reported that a molotov cocktail was thrown at the Edith Green Federal Building during the night. 

At 12:38 a.m. there were approximately 200 protesters reported outside the Hatfield Courthouse. 

By 1:05 a.m. local time, most of the crowds left both sides of the Edith Green Federal Building. 

At around 1:19 a.m. local time, a group of rioters set a fire at the Hatfield Courthouse's garage port door. Minutes later, FPS and OPS personnel put the fire out and afterwards returned inside the Hatfield Courthouse.

Sometime during the course of the evening, an unknown number of rioters shot paintballs at courthouse security cameras. Others blocked the vehicle entrance to the Edith Green Federal Building and threw bottles at the windows.

DHS officers conducted zero arrests and reported zero new injuries during the course of the evening.

NOTE: This readout has been updated to reflect information received from the Department of Justice after publish time.

Last Published Date: August 2, 2020
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