A fire inside a police union building led authorities in Portland, Oregon, to declare a riot and force protesters away from the offices as violent demonstrations continue in the city that had hoped for calm after federal agents withdrew more than a week ago. A group of demonstrators broke into the Portland Police Association building, set the fire and were adding to it when officers made the riot declaration late Saturday, police tweeted. Video shot by a journalist shows smoke and flames arising from inside the building.
Several hundred people had gathered outside the offices, which are located about 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of the federal courthouse that had been the target of nightly violence earlier this summer. The Portland Police Association is a labor union that represents members of the Portland Police Bureau. Live video had showed multiple dumpster fires had been set near the building, less than half an hour after police tweeted that “criminal activities including, but not limited to, vandalism, unlawful entry to the building, or fire starting,” could be subject to arrest, the use of tear gas and/or crowd-control munitions. Once the riot was declared — just after 11:30 p.m. — officers formed a line and used flash bangs and smoke canisters to force the crowd away from the area.