Thousands gather for third round of Portland protests

(OREGONLIVE) – At least a dozen people were arrested during Portland’s third consecutive round of large-scale protests, which stretched from Sunday night into Monday morning.

Portland police said early Monday that 12 adults had been arrested and two youths had been detained. The figure isn’t final, and no information about the people arrested was immediately available.

Demonstrations, some destructive or violent, have broken out across the country after the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man prosecutors say was murdered by a police officer. Video showed Floyd, handcuffed, cried for help as an officer knelt on his neck, pinning him to the pavement for at least eight minutes.

Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests have drawn new attention long-simmering anguish over the deaths of black men and women at the hands of police officers.

Portland’s protests began Thursday with a peaceful march. On Friday, after hours of peaceful demonstration in various locations around the city, a riot broke out in downtown Portland. Several fires were set downtown, and the Multnomah County Justice Center was ransacked and set ablaze.

Mayor Ted Wheeler set an 8 p.m. curfew Saturday, but it did not keep protesters from turning out for the second night of large-scale protests.

The curfew returned Sunday, and protesters did the same.

Two main groups gathered Sunday in Portland: One in Laurelhurst Park and another near the downtown Justice Center.

Thousands of peaceful demonstrators marched from the Southeast Portland park to the Portland Police Bureau’s old Southeast Precinct on East Burnside Street, according to police. Part of that group eventually made its way downtown, where a large group had already gathered.

The marchers entered downtown shortly after 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, police fired tear gas near the downtown Justice Center shortly after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect. Police said people in the crowd had thrown water bottles.

Police said demonstrators later threw fireworks at officers, as well. Officers continued to use tear gas.

The crowd was dispersed into smaller groups, and police said demonstrators set fires, smashed windows and vandalized buildings and cars.

Portland Police Chief Jami Resch spoke to three protest representatives during the demonstration, though she said their productive discussion was cut short “by the actions of people who began to throw incendiary’’ devices at officers.

“We implore our community to come together with us with calm and not violence so we can heal and identify solutions for a better future,” the chief told members of the media early Monday.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler lauded the mostly peaceful protesters who turned out Sunday, while decrying those who chose to engage in violence.

“They were a small handful from amongst thousands of peaceful demonstrators,” Wheeler said during a news conference Monday morning.

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