Protests Continue To Ravage The Country From Portland To Austin
Protests erupted nationwide Saturday night in solidarity with demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, after federal authorities were sent to the city to respond to the unrest.
Police departments from Richmond, Virginia, to Seattle reported smashed windows, fires and other violence, prompting cities to declare the demonstrations as riots or unlawful assemblies.
The demonstrations were held in support of Portland and Black Lives Matter and came after President Trump threatened last week to send federal law enforcement to other U.S.
Officers in Aurora, Colorado, responded to incidents of a car that drove into a crowd and another one involving a protester shot during Saturday’s protests. Police had warned that people were subject to arrest if they crossed a fence at the police department entrance before declaring the protesters “no longer peaceful.”
Officers reported demonstrators throwing projectiles, shining lasers and shooting fireworks at them, in addition to breaking windows to a courthouse, where a fire was started. The Aurora department declared the demonstrations in the city an “unlawful assembly” at about 8:50 p.m. local time and requested all protesters “exit in an orderly manner.”
Police in Austin, Texas, reported a man was shot and killed during protests in the city. Preliminary reports indicated the victim was carrying a rifle and approached the suspect’s vehicle before being shot, senior police officer Katrina Ratcliff said during a briefing.
Officers have not identified the man, but Sheila Foster told ABC on Sunday that her son, Garrett Foster, was shot and killed.
The Seattle Police Department reported that officers had made dozens of arrests during demonstrations after an explosion damaged the East Precinct building. Twenty-one officers were injured after being hit by bricks, rocks and explosives.
The police department declared the public gathering a riot shortly before 4:30 p.m. after protesters broke windows, set fires and spray painted the East Precinct. Officers had used blast balls, OC spray and 40-millimeter sponge tip rounds, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told reporters, according to the Seattle Times.
The crowd ended up mostly dispersing after police retreated inside the East Precinct.
Trump had also deployed tactical border officers to stand by for duty in the city, according to the newspaper.
Richmond police also declared an unlawful assembly for the area outside the police headquarters shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday, warning that those who stayed risked being arrested.
A dump truck and a mattress were set ablaze in the area, as well as a Chipotle the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, and protesters continued to move toward the headquarters with firecrackers and while pointing lasers.
Police in Oakland, California announced an unlawful assembly after “agitators” had set fire to a courthouse and vandalized a police station by breaking windows and spray painting it.
Protesters in Portland continued to clash with law enforcement in front of a federal courthouse, prompting the city’s police to declare a riot on Sunday.
The Portland protests have continued for 59 consecutive days since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody, sparking Trump to send federal authorities to respond. The federal authorities have reportedly used tear gas on and detained demonstrators.