Americans across the country set off fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July on Saturday night, but in Portland, Ore., antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters weaponized fireworks, aiming incendiary devices at the courthouse and the Justice Center and causing extensive damage throughout the area.
Portland Police reported that instigators began shooting off commercial-grade fireworks, aiming them at the Justice Center and the federal courthouse around 10:30 p.m. “Several of the demonstrators were observed carrying shields. The sound truck admonished the crowd warning them to discontinue firing fireworks and incendiary devices at the two buildings. The crowd members were warned if they continued the criminal acts, they would be subject to use of force or arrest. Despite several admonishments, many of the demonstrators continued their illegal acts.”
The rioters “continued launching fireworks and projectiles at the Federal Courthouse. Because of this, several windows were broken and fireworks and projectiles entered the Federal Courthouse building.”
Police declared a riot just after 11 p.m., and officers began dispersing the crowd, moving demonstrators away from the buildings.
“As officers dispersed the crowd, demonstrators threw bricks, mortars, M-80s, and other flammables towards them,” police reported. “To defend themselves from serious injury, officers used crowd control munitions and tear gas at this time. Lasers were directed at Officer’s eyes, which is unlawful.”
The department released a video taken by an officer who sustained an injury from a mortar that exploded near her feet while her bodycam was recording.
Yet the antifa instigators returned to the area in front of the courthouse and set off a bonfire.
“During the dispersal, numerous business windows were shattered by members of the crowd,” the police reported. “Officers made several arrests, including one at Southwest Main Street and Broadway where a male fought with officers. Officers were able to get him in custody and recovered an illegally possessed loaded firearm and a knife.”
Rioters set fire to a statue commemorating Oregon Trail pioneers.
Andy Ngo, editor-at-large at The Post Millennial, shared photos of the aftermath, claiming antifa and Black Lives Matter extremists “have turned downtown Portland into an empty urban wasteland.”
Ngo took a video while walking through downtown Portland, describing the area as “lined with debris, graffiti & rubbish from weeks of rioting by antifa & BLM extremists. The air still smells of burnt chemicals & gun powder from last night’s large riot.”
July 4 marked the city’s 38th day of unrest, Fox News reported.
The police department reported over a dozen individuals. Police claimed that most of the crowd had been dispersed by 4:30 a.m.
“The violence we have witnessed is contrary to the values of our City and the thousands who are hoping to move forward with systemic change. Our community deserves better than nightly criminal activity that destroys the value and fabric of our community,” Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement.
Portland is a hotbed for antifa unrest, and it seems the riots won’t be ending anytime soon.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.