Residents of downtown Portland experienced yet another night of terror at the hands of rioters on Tuesday, exactly one year after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis set off some of the worst riots America has seen in decades.
Riots erupt in Portland
Police said that around 9 p.m., the mob set a dumpster on fire outside the Multnomah County Justice Center and pushed the dumpster against the building, while some shouted, “Burn the building down” and vandalized the building with graffiti, according to Fox News. Two people reportedly attempted to pry the doors open.
As police secured the area for firefighters to respond, the crowd tossed eggs, fireworks, and frozen water bottles at officers, and set traps of metal spikes in the road, Fox reported.
Once the fire was out, police left the area and the mob proceeded to City Hall, where they smashed windows, according to reports. Around 10 p.m., police declared a riot.
The crowd then moved through downtown Portland, where they destroyed windows at over a dozen businesses, including several Starbucks locations, a jewelry store, and several clothing stores including a bridal boutique, the Willamette Week reported. They also vandalized the site where Trump supporter Aaron Danielson was murdered by an alleged Antifa member last summer, according to journalist Andy Ngo.
Portland Police were hit with mortar fireworks from #antifa when they retreated from the riot. Antifa set a large fire on the side of the Justice Center that required police & the fire department to respond. pic.twitter.com/DzALkqfniP
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) May 26, 2021
Residents left traumatized
The riot started to die down around midnight, and arrests were made for crimes ranging from criminal mischief to rioting and arson, police said.
Portland has been the site of riots more or less constantly since last summer, when the city’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, effectively surrendered control to mobs that laid siege to a federal courthouse and terrorized residents for months with virtual impunity.
For traumatized business owners, the scenes in Portland on Tuesday night carried a grim echo. Pinkham Millinery owner Dayna Pinkham said she was just surprised her store wasn’t targeted sooner. “I feel fortunate to have staved it off this long,” she told local NBC affiliate KGW 8.
Angelina Walker of TAH Bags said this wasn’t the first time her store was hit. “I think closing the store is a huge loss,” she told the network. “It just seems like it’s too easy to cause destruction and just walk away.”
While Portlanders are left living in fear, the majority of rioters from last year’s unrest have had their cases dismissed by the federal government, Fox News notes.