Officials say protesters in Portland started commercial-scale fireworks on police the other night of the Oregon riots and even used mortar in their attacks
PORTLAND, Ore ̵1; – Protesters in front of a Portland police union building opened fire and used mortar to start commercial-grade fireworks at police and officials said Monday that two officers were injured and 16 demonstrators were arrested.
A day after demonstrators managed to break into the union building and set it on fire, protesters blocked a road on Sunday evening and set fire to storage tanks outside it, police said in a statement.
Fireworks were fired at police as they tried to clear the demonstrators and one of the two officers treated at the scene suffered a burn to her neck.
The demonstrators who were arrested face charges of disorderly conduct or interfering with a peace officer. Their arrests came after nine protesters were arrested Saturday night and 24 Friday night.
Sunday’s demonstration came as demonstrators marched toward the building from a nearby park. As police moved to disperse the rally, commercial-class fireworks were thrown at officers, police said.
The department released photos of the officers’ injuries, including a photo of a face covering that statement described as being “partially melted” by fireworks.
The protests in Portland have been going on overnight for 70 days since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
Violence culminated when protesters targeted a federal court last month that was defended by federal agents who lobbied tear gas on attacking demonstrators in two straight weeks of overnight confrontations.
Federal agents withdrew more than a week ago amid hopes of calm, but violent protests have resurfaced miles away in court.
Three officers were injured in a protest Saturday night, including two who were treated at a hospital and released. And on Friday evening, demonstrators disobeyed orders to scatter and throw stones, frozen or boiled eggs and commercial-grade fireworks at officers.
Some stuffed pool noodles with nails and pushed them into the street, causing extensive damage to a patrol vehicle, police said.
While violent, rallies over the past week have been much smaller than events before the federal court that drew thousands who came out at night to protest the presence of U.S. agents who were sent by the Trump administration to defend the federal court in city center.
The police union building for the Portland Police Association is about 5 miles (8 miles) north of federal court.