Activity in the vicinity of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse remained calm overall – in sharp contrast to the violent nightly siege of previous weeks. Wednesday evening marked a fourth consecutive night with zero attacks directed at federal officers or property. The change is directly attributable to the long-awaited cooperation from state and local law enforcement, which began last week, but should have been the case all along. Currently, local and state law enforcement address violence on the streets while Oregon State Police (OSP) partners work alongside the still-augmented federal presence to protect and defend federal property behind the courthouse fence.
However, Portland’s months-long riot problem continues elsewhere in the city. While criminal violence towards federal officers and property has receded, Portland’s rioters have since redirected their attacks to local law enforcement, employing many of the same violent tactics previously used against federal officers and property. Wednesday marked the third consecutive night during which the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) had to declare a riot or unlawful assembly.
The past 24 hours:
Crowd size in the vicinity of the Hatfield Courthouse peaked at under 50 people and remained peaceful through the course of the evening.
There were once again no attacks directed at federal property or officers.
DHS officers conducted zero arrests and reported zero new injuries.
Roughly six miles away from the Hatfield Courthouse, a crowd of around 200 people approached the East Precinct building, which is used by both PPB and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, at around 9:15 p.m. local time. According to the PPB, the group blocked traffic while many of those present initiated a laser attack on officers. Rioters also began to attack the precinct building’s security cameras.
By 9:40 p.m. local time, PPB reported that rioters had begun to tear away plywood boards protecting the precinct building windows while others attacked the doors. PPB declared an unlawful assembly at 9:45 p.m. local time. Minutes later, rioters successfully cracked the glass doors of the precinct building.
PPB declared a riot at 9:56 p.m. local time and minutes later, rioters barricaded the front doors of the building and started a fire using plywood and an accelerant, according to the PPB. When officers started dispersing the crowd, they were attacked with commercial-grade fireworks and hard projectiles. A vehicle associated with the group attempted to run over several officers but was disabled without reported injuries.
Sometime after 11:00 p.m. local time, according to PPB, most of the dispersed riot returned to the vicinity of the precinct building. When officers responded, rioters assaulted them with paint-filled balloons. Rioters continued to return and had to be dispersed two more times over the course of the next two hours.