Originally published on US News | The Epoch Times on 2020 08 08 by Zachary Stieber https://www.theepochtimes.com/rioters-clash-with-police-in-portland-hurl-chunks-of-concrete-at-officers_3454646.htmlRioters threw chunks of concrete, rocks, and other projectiles at police officers in Portland late Friday, as clashes between them and officers spilled again into nearby residential streets.
Unrest in Oregon’s city started in late May and has continued virtually unabated since.
People gathered outside the Penumbra Kelly Building, which holds law enforcement offices, about 4 miles east of downtown, around 9:45 p.m. Police officers, taking a more aggressive stance under new direction from Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler, announced they would arrest people for trespassing if they didn’t leave the property.
Arrests were soon made. As officers made arrests, the crowd hurled rocks at them. The mob soon broke off concrete pieces from a nearby retaining wall, smashed them into smaller pieces, and launched them at the police, according to a Portland Police Bureau incident summary. Others shined lasers at officers. Frozen or hard-boiled eggs and commercial grade fireworks were also thrown.
The mayhem at the building continued for several hours until Oregon state troopers and Portland police officers worked together to begin dispersing the crowd to the east.
During the resulting clashes, rioters alternated fleeing—at one point, entering a private home’s backyard, prompting a man living there to run out and tell them to leave—and facing off with law enforcement, using tactics they practiced in a park earlier in the day.
Rioters in Portland use sophisticated tactics like formations and organize with supply lines, federal law enforcement officials told Congress this week. They’ve given no indication they’ll stop committing violence and some expressly say they have no demands, short of the abolition of the current law enforcement system.
“I don’t believe that they have any intention of stopping. And what they’re really trying to do is completely dismantle Portland as we know it,” Portland Police Sgt. Brent Maxey, an 18-year veteran of the force, told reporters in a briefing this week.
Wheeler, a Democrat who is also mayor, condemned the violence in a news conference Thursday. The rioters are committing attempted murder when they trap people inside buildings and try to burn them down, he said.
Rioters have started turning to attempts to disable police vehicles. On Thursday night, they placed rebar ties in the road. Early Saturday, they used pool noodles filled with nails.
The flurry of attacks from rioters forced police to keep their distance from them, the bureau said in a statement apologizing to homeowners for the noise.
The crowd eventually fizzled out by 2:30 a.m., the bureau said.
The police force struggled to respond to both the riot and the crime unfolding elsewhere in the city overnight. At one point, there were two separate shootings and 16 priority calls in the North Precinct.
“Other precincts are available to help but response times are delayed right now,” the bureau said.
Portland is dealing with a surge in violence, with 99 shootings taking place in July, a spike from 35 in the same month last year, police officials said this week. Fifteen homicides took place in July alone.
Wheeler said officers should be focused on responding to the record gun violence, not to arson and other crimes committed by rioters. He plans to unveil a comprehensive plan to address the rise in shootings next week.
President Donald Trump told reporters in New Jersey on Friday night that his administration would step in and quell the continued violence in Portland if asked to do so by the mayor and Democrat Gov. Kate Brown.
“We will go in to stop the problems in Portland [in] 24 hours, just like we did in Minneapolis after they really hurt that city,” he said.