PORTLAND, Ore. — Fireworks set off in downtown Portland, Ore., on Thursday night had little to do with New Year’s Eve celebrations – and more to do with continuing incivility that has plagued the city for nearly a year, according to reports.
Once again, city police declared a riot as a gathering estimated to be about 100 people targeted a federal courthouse, FOX 12 of Oregon reported.
“Participants have thrown multiple firebombs at officers and launched commercial grade fireworks at the Federal Courthouse and Justice Center,” the Portland Police Bureau wrote on Twitter just as the new year arrived early Friday.
A gathering in downtown Portland has devolved into a riot. Participants have thrown multiple firebombs at officers and launched commercial grade fireworks at the Federal Courthouse and Justice Center.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) January 1, 2021
A string of messages included a warning to those congregating in the streets, Fox reported.
“If you do not leave you are subject to arrest, citation, and/or the use of force,” the police wrote, “including but not limited to impact weapons and tear gas.”
If you do not leave the area you are subject to citation and/or arrest. You are also subject to the use of tear gas, crowd control agents, and or impact munitions.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 9, 2020
Rioters also smashed windows and set fires in the area, Portland’s KOIN-TV reported.
Police began using different less lethal options on the unruly crowd, according to the news organization.
Some videos shown on social media showed police officers advancing against the mob.
Officers are pushing people away from SW 2nd. #koin6news #riot #Portland #oregon #pdx #pnw pic.twitter.com/BfN2P7WikH
— Jennifer Dowling (@JenDowlingKoin6) January 1, 2021
Thursday’s unrest came one day after nearly a dozen businesses and government agency headquarters were vandalized, KOIN reported.
Portland protests and riots have been ongoing since the custodial death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.