PORTLAND, OREGON – A molotov cocktail thrown at police during the Portland protests Saturday night fell short and landed within the group of protesters screaming at police. Instead of hitting the police, the protested “Fauci’d” the throw, landing on one unsuspecting protester who ran off with his legs on fire.
According to polce, multiple fire bombs, mortars, rocks, and other items were thrown at law enforcement during a riot Saturday night in Southeast Portland.
A crowd gathered at Ventura Park and, at about 9:00p.m., began a march in the street toward East Portland Community Policing Center. East Precinct is an active, working police station and has been the target of arsonists, vandals, and violence in past demonstrations. It is directly adjacent to occupied townhomes and across the street from a school and a community event center. Many in the crowd were carrying large shields (photo) and dressed in protective gear including helmets, gas masks, body armor, and all black clothing. It was clear that the intent of the crowd was not peaceful protest. Therefore officers were positioned in such a way that prevented the march from reaching East Precinct. A police vehicle outfitted with a loudspeaker advised the crowd that, for the safety of city employees and all community members, the march would not be allowed to proceed that direction.
At about 9:15p.m, as the crowd approached officers, individuals began throwing multiple fire bombs at officers. One of them caught a community member on fire. Officers later located the injured person and Portland Fire and Rescue medics offered treatment. The injured person was later taken to a hospital by private vehicle.
You can see the Portland protester running around with their legs on fire at the beginning of this videopic.twitter.com/O6b1fC0OHq
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) September 6, 2020
“This criminal activity presented an extreme danger to life safety for all community members, and prompted a declaration of a riot. The crowd was advised over loudspeaker that it was a riot and they were to leave the area to the east immediately. They were warned that failure to adhere to this order may subject them to arrest, citation, or crowd control agents, including, but not limited to, tear gas and/or impact weapons. Individuals within the crowd began throwing illegal fireworks/mortars at officers. Others were seen throwing rocks. At least one had a “wrist-rocket” type of slingshot launching unknown objects. In order to defend themselves from these assaults, officers used crowd control munitions, including tear gas. Officers made numerous targeted arrests,” Portland Police said. “For the next four hours, the crowd appeared to meander through the Mill Park community, attempting to get to get around the police blockade and reach East Precinct. Officers moved ahead of the rioters to prevent them access. Rioters lit fires in the streets, including dumpsters, garbage cans, and wooden pallets. Officers moved in to push the crowd back in order to extinguish the fires.”
During numerous confrontations with officers, individuals launched attacks on law enforcement, including throwing objects. A sergeant was directly struck by a commercial grade firework, which burned through his glove and injured his hand (photos). Several officers and troopers were struck by rocks in the head, arms, shoulders, and feet. Only their protective gear prevented serious injury. An Oregon State Police vehicle was damaged by rocks, including broken windows and dents (photos). An unexploded mortar was recovered by police (photo).
Over 50 people were arrested. At least two were wearing body armor. One had a dagger, another had a knife (photos). The names of those arrested and their charges will be released in a later update.
The response to this event included not only Portland Police Rapid Response Team and Oregon State Police, but PPB precincts had to pull officers out of patrol to assist. That limited the ability to respond to calls. At about 2:00a.m., there were almost 150 calls for service holding in the City of Portland.