Portland Police Declare Protest for Breonna Taylor a Riot
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon’s largest city declared a crowd in front of the city’s police headquarters a riot late Wednesday as the demonstrators assembled to protest a Kentucky grand jury’s decision not to indict police officers on criminal charges directly related to the death of Breonna Taylor.
Portland police first declared the crowd an unlawful gathering at around 10 p.m. before upgrading it to a riot about 30 minutes later, according to statements from the department.
Police warned the group to leave over a loudspeaker before using crowd control measures such as smoke and munitions to clear the area, according to videos from witnesses posted on social media.
Police and some protestors left, but when the demonstrators returned, authorities declared the event a riot, The Oregonian/Oregonlive.com reported.
Other videos showed a small fire burning on the awning of the boarded-up police building, and officers in riot gear running away from what appeared to be an incendiary device that was launched toward them.
The demonstrations in Portland joined those around the country hours after the Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for the killing of Taylor during a drug raid gone wrong. Taylor was shot multiple times by officers who burst into her home on March 13 during a narcotics investigation.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that two officers who fired their weapons at the Black woman were justified in using force to protect themselves. Instead, the only charges brought by the grand jury were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into Taylor’s neighbors’ homes.