Riot declared in Portland after fire started in apartment building

Portland police again declared a riot Monday night after a fire was started in a 16-story apartment building — as hundreds marched on the home of the Oregon city’s mayor on his birthday, according to police and reports.

More than 200 people had joined the rally at the condominium tower where Mayor Ted Wheeler lives to demand his resignation — many wearing birthday hats and singing “happy tear gas to you,” The Oregonian said.

Fires were soon lit in the street and windows smashed on what was the 96th consecutive night of unrest in Portland, the paper noted.

Police initially “stayed out of sight and monitored the situation from a distance” in a bid to “deescalate” any violence — even as windows were smashed and graffiti daubed on numerous walls, the force said.

An unlawful assembly was declared just after 11 p.m. as looters started burglarizing buildings — partly to take out furniture to throw on street fires, cops said.

The large mob ignored demands to leave — and just two minutes later a riot was declared after a fire was started on the ground floor of a large apartment building.

Video showed the fire inside a building with smashed windows and the words “this is the language of the unheard” sprayed with an arrow pointing to the fire.

“Out of concern that the fire could spread, causing an extreme life safety concern, the incident was declared a riot,” police said.

The fire was extinguished before it could spread to the 16-story building which The Oregonian said has 114 residences. The reports did not make clear if the fire was in the mayor’s condo building or a neighboring one.

Officers repeatedly warned rioters to leave but “few, if any, of the persons complied,” Portland Police Bureau said — with “rocks and paint balloons” thrown at officers and more fires set in the street, leading to 19 arrests.

The latest riot came just two nights after a 39-year-old counter-protester was shot dead after a caravan of cars supporting President Trump swamped the city.

Share this article:

Source: Read Full Article