Local authorities declared a riot after groups of demonstrators destroyed ATMs, vandalized buildings and smashed windows in the city, which the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office described as “widespread violence.
Unified Command on National Guard activation: Widespread violence is occurring in Downtown Portland. In the interest of public safety, Governor Kate Brown, under advice of the Unified Command, has activated the use of the Oregon National Guard to assist local law enforcement… pic.twitter.com/kEnxcXipw1
— Multnomah Co Sheriff (@MultCoSO) November 5, 2020
The sheriff’s office reported that it seized at least one loaded rifle and ammunition from the protesters and that at least one man is believed to have thrown a Molotov cocktail at police. Officers also recovered hammers, fireworks and spray paint cans. A suspect accused of throwing a firework at police was also arrested.
By 10 p.m., law enforcement said the riot declaration had been rescinded and officers had “disengaged in an effort to de-escalate the situation.” All remaining demonstrators were asked to remain peaceful by deputies, according to KCTV5. By 10:30 p.m. another group downtown was declared an unlawful assembly again by law enforcement.
Through the night rioters were seen breaking the windows of a St. Andrea Bassett Church which helps those who are homeless, experiencing poverty, mental health issues and substance abuse. An American flag was also set on fire in the middle of a downtown street.
Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday had extended her executive order creating a unified command between local law enforcement agencies, led by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office first declared an unlawful assembly downtown around 6:50 p.m. and The National Guard was activated within minutes of the riot declaration as part of the unified command “in the interest of public safety.”
The governor on Wednesday extended her executive order creating a unified command between local law enforcement agencies, led by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police, KCTV reported.
Officers later through the night seized a loaded rifle, multiple additional magazines, more fireworks, a knife and spray paint cans. The suspect was also wearing a tactical vest with ballistic plates.
At about 11:15 p.m., OSP troopers stopped a vehicle without license plates that was interfering with traffic, the Unified Command said. The troopers discovered the driver, identified as Wesley C. Fant, had a handgun and arrested him on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, according to the report.
The remaining group downtown mostly dispersed by 1:30 a.m., according to the Unified Command.
At least 10 people were arrested in downtown Portland, according to the Unified Command.