Dozens of businesses in Portland, OR are reporting damage due to looting and breakage as rioters broke into police headquarters and the Multnomah county justice center and started fires.
Portland, judged the most liberal city in America by some and considered one of the top ten places to live in the country, is on fire.
Mayor Ted Wheeler was forced to leave the city to attend to his dying mother, but he came rushing back to town yesterday to declare a state of emergency and order an 8:00 PM curfew.
Portland’s police headquarters was stormed on Friday night as protesters broke windows and lit a fire in the building.
According to Portland Police officials, the city’s Justice Center was attacked amid a riot against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this week. Five arrests have been made at the time of writing.
The Oregonian said protests took a turn shortly after 11 p.m. local time, when some taking part in the demonstration marched on the Multonomah County Justice Center and attacked an office.
It’s on fire. The Multnomah county Justice Center is on fire. pic.twitter.com/PhEhcyDjoE
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) May 30, 2020
Here are some peaceful citizens protesting the death of George Floyd by helping themselves to tens of thousands of dollars of Louis Vuitton bags.
#BREAKING: Louis V just looted by rioters in #Portland!#GeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorgeFlyod #georgesfloyd #GeorgeFlyod #LA #GeorgeFloydprotest #AtlantaProtest #Minneapolis #minneapolisriots #BlackLivesMatters #NewYork #Atlanta #AtlantaRiot #JusticeForGeorge #LosAngeles #Dallas pic.twitter.com/eMEfPLKYoS
— Faruk Firat (@FarukFirat1987) May 30, 2020
Mayor Wheeler made the mistake of waiting until the damage became severe before acting. But Wheeler allowed the protests to balloon on Thursday and Friday into a full-blown riot on Saturday. Appealing for calm and claiming that the rioters were “not honoring the memory of George Floyd” did nothing and stopped nothing.
On Friday night, the Justice Center was targeted and vandalized while employees were still working inside.
At about 6:45 p.m. Saturday, police said officers were approached by hundreds of demonstrators, some of whom they said threw projectiles at officers and assaulted one officer.
At that point, the gathering was deemed by police to be an illegal assembly and demonstrators were ordered to leave the area. Police warned that those who did not comply would be subject to force from officers.
Fifty people were arrested — and there could have been a lot more.
It looks like a clear pattern is emerging. Those cities that responded to the demonstrations with a massive police presence suffered far less damage than those that didn’t. Rather than “provoking” the rioters, they intimidated them.
Isn’t that better than watching the city burn?