Portland, OR (STL.News) In the evening hours of July 22, 2020, a large group of more than a thousand people gathered on Southwest 3rd Avenue outside of the Justice Center and Federal Courthouse in Downtown Portland. For several hours, the group blocked traffic, and vocalized in demonstration.
At around 9:15 p.m., Mayor Ted Wheeler addressed the crowd outside the Justice Center. During this time, group members chanted and at some moments lit off fireworks. Around 10:30 p.m., Mayor Wheeler finished addressing the crowd and walked to the Federal Courthouse where he stood at the fence.
Soon after Mayor Wheeler finished addressing the crowd, people in the group began throwing flares and other incendiaries over the fence that protects the west side of the Federal Courthouse. Over the next 45 minutes, people continued to throw flammable material as well as incendiary devices over the fence, eventually starting a large fire. Other people breeched the fence while others kicked and shook the fence. Federal Police Officers exited the building and began to disperse the crowd.
Around 12:24 a.m., a large animated group remained at the fence surrounding the Federal Courthouse. One individual in the crowd disregarded the fence and encroached through the portico to a door of the Federal Courthouse where they threw an item into the building. The flaming item disappeared inside of the courthouse and Federal Officers exited and addressed the crowd.
At 12:31 a.m., Portland Police declared a riot due to the violent conduct of the large group creating a grave risk of public alarm. Police issued public address announcements and told the group to leave the area, moving to the north and the west. The majority of the group did not leave.
Over the next several hours, people continued to congregate near the fence outside of the Federal Courthouse. During this time, Molotov Cocktails were thrown at the federal building, along with hundreds of projectiles. There were multiple fires lit by the crowd in the area surrounding the courthouse to include the heavily wooded areas in the parks and trash receptacles on neighboring blocks. Multiple vandalisms occurred including fire hydrants which were opened wasting several hundred gallons of water into the street. At least one assault was reported.
Over the next several hours, the group slowly dissipated.
With the exception of the sound truck, Portland Police were not present during any of the activity described. Portland Police did not engage with any crowds and did not deploy any CS gas. No arrests were made by Portland Police.