Oregon protesters clash with police, throw fireworks

National

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Twenty-one people were arrested or detained in Portland early Sunday after throwing fireworks and mortars as they clashed with police during the latest rally decrying police brutality.

Police used tear gas and crowd control munitions to stymie protesters who they say broke windows at a federal courthouse and nearby businesses in a protest that lasted until 4:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release from Portland Police.

The 13 people arrested by Portland police ranged in age from 23-35 and were booked on suspicion of charges including rioting, disorderly conduct and attempted assault on an officer, police said in the release. One man faces charges of pointing a laser at an officer.

Eight more people were detained by officers with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Services. Those people are facing possible charges of damage to government property, assault on officers and interfering with officers, the agency said in a news release.

One of the men arrested by the federal agents had a machete and a metal pipe, the agency said. Others threw bricks, rocks, bottles, fireworks and paint-filled balloons at officers outside the federal courthouse in Portland.

Police declared the scene a “riot” and called the protesters’ behavior “unacceptable.” Several officers were injured when fireworks and mortars exploded near them, police said.

“Our community deserves better than nightly criminal activity that destroys the value and fabric of our community,” police said in the news release.

Protesters in this liberal, predominantly white city had stayed main peaceful for some five weeks as they joined with thousands of others around the country decrying police brutality. But recent violence by smaller groups is dividing the movement.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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