Protesters in Portland, Oregon, continued to challenge law enforcement officials over the weekend, even though the Department of Homeland Security has begun drawing down its presence in the city.
“More than 150 rounds were fired and one woman was shot in Portland on Friday night while protesters on Saturday – some of whom appeared to impersonate press – threw glass bottles and shined lasers at city police officers sent to quell the nighttime unrest witnessed for more than two months straight,” Fox News reported.
Some members of the media seemed to tun out of the violence in Portland after DHS’s Wednesday decision to turn over the responsibility of protecting Portland’s federal courthouse to Oregon State Police and the Portland Police Department, insisting that tensions had calmed to the point where a law enforcement presence was no longer required.
The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof claimed, Sunday that “peace” had broken out.
Trump said the Feds were in Portland to "protect" rather than "provoke." But the retreat of the Feds for two nights running, replaced by state police, resulted in peace breaking out. No rubber bullets, no injuries. Pretty clear who was provoking violence. https://t.co/tSrxvuClUh https://t.co/rNOcNc1qnu
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) August 1, 2020
Saturday night, though, Portland Police’s blotter notes that demonstrators “shined bright lights at Portland police officers standing outside the building, directed lasers at the officers, and eventually began throwing glass bottles at them.”
Clashes also appeared to break out between “anti-fascist” rioters, intent on destabilizing the situation, and Black Lives Matter protesters, who chastised the black-clad demonstrators and, in some cases, drove them out of larger, peaceful protests.
Video journalist Drew Hernandez captured some footage of BLM trying — and largely failing — to contain “anti-fascist” elements.
BLM is having a hard time regulating ANTIFA here in Portland pic.twitter.com/djTCyc1R3I
— Drew Hernandez (@livesmattershow) August 1, 2020
As the Daily Wire reported Sunday morning, protesters also departed downtown Portland and headed into some of the city’s residential neighborhoods, intent on agitating, it seems, in locations with less law enforcement protection. Protesters were intercepted and Portland police broke up the demonstration.
“Portland Police have directed people to stay off the property at the Penumbra Kelly Building property. Anyone who enters the property may be subject to force or arrest,” the Portland Police tweeted Saturday night. “People in this unlawful assembly have thrown glass bottles at Portland Police and directed lasers at them. Anyone who does not disperse may be subject to force or arrest.”
DHS did acknowledge on Saturday night that violence in Portland is on a downward trend but said Sunday that agents will remain at the courthouse until the nightly demonstrations have, themselves, abated, and “the courthouse and other federal property are safe.”
“After weeks of rioting and nightly attacks on federal officers and property, activity in the vicinity of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse continues in an overall trend of diminishing violence as a result of the increased cooperation between state and federal law enforcement,” DHS said in a statement. “In stark contrast to the intense weekend violence in Portland over the past two months, protests around federal property remained generally peaceful with only minor incidents of malicious activity.”