Portland protesters on Thursday night targeted the home of a city commissioner who was the deciding vote on a failed proposal to slash police funding.
Video footage and photographs from the scene showed the group shining bright, flashing lights on the front of the house, and setting flares in the yard.
At least one window was damaged.
“Individuals broke a window, threw burning flares and paint filled balloons at the home, and broke potted plants. That criminal activity prompted police to declare an unlawful assembly,” the Unified Command said in an incident summary.
The group of about 60 people, including Black Lives Matter activists, initially gathered at Arbor Lodge Park in the northern part of the city before marching to the home of Dan Ryan, a newly elected Portland city commissioner.
Law enforcement officers ordered the crowd to disperse. When they refused, officers moved in and used force to disperse the mob.
“The Portland Police Bureau and Portland Fire & Rescue are actively investigating this alarming criminal activity that put an entire neighborhood at risk. This is the fourth night in the past week Commissioner Ryan has had agitators cause both vandalism and disruption to his home and neighborhood,” Unified Command said.
Unified Command is comprised of local, county, and state law enforcement officers.
It was established by Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, to deal with unrest in Portland.
Brown also activated the Oregon National Guard this week.
Protests and riots have taken place in Oregon‘s largest city nearly every night since late May.
Demonstrators have killed or badly beaten several people and inflicted damage to an array of buildings, including private residences, businesses, police precincts.
“Portland and Oregon, it’s an amazing place to live, it’s beautiful, it’s scenic, it’s got a ton of culture. But we’re going the wrong way on a one-way street right now,” John James, whose cafe was damaged during riots last month, told The Epoch Times.
All Portland commissioners are Democrats but a proposal by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty to slash the Portland Police Bureau’s funding by $18 million–on top of the $15 million cut approved earlier this year–fell short on Thursday, with Ryan joining Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz in voting no.
In a statement after the crowd targeted his home, Ryan referred to calls he made during his campaign for a peace summit between demonstrators and police.
“Now, as an elected official, I realize that we may also need a peace summit amongst ourselves,” he said.
“In these divisive times, we must be intentional about building bridges with all stakeholders. My extensive experience working on issues of racial justice and equity with people across the entire spectrum of our city has taught me that finding common ground is essential to developing innovative solutions to complex problems,” he added.
“I ask that we all keep this in mind–we must foster belonging, rather than othering–to address the City’s shrinking resources while many of our direct service partners are struggling in the face of the pandemic.”
The mob in Portland on Thursday later went to City Hall and set it on fire, according to Unified Command. An investigation is underway.
Two people were arrested overnight: Bryan Ortega-Schwartz, 36, for attempting to elude in a vehicle and reckless driving, and Michael Kinney, 30, for interfering with a peace officer, resisting arrest, and failure to display a license.
Wheeler, who also serves as police commissioner, said in a statement later Friday: “Last night’s criminal destruction and attack on Commissioner Ryan’s home are reprehensible. Violence, criminal destruction, and intimidation are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
“Those responsible must be found, investigated, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I condemn anyone who uses violence to attempt to silence the voices of others,” he added.
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