But after a brief weekend reprieve, protest activity has continued nightly in other parts of the city, with Portland police, local sheriff's deputies and, in some cases, Oregon State Police troopers on the frontlines as demonstrators demand an end to police funding. "These people shined lights and lasers in officer's eyes, as well as threw eggs and rocks at officers", Portland police said.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf defended the federal response to the unrest during testimony Thursday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, saying officers and agents "were abandoned" as they were attacked nightly by "violent instigators" and blaming local and state officials for failing to help protect federal properties in the city. The trooper's condition was not immediately known.
Portland police officers pursue a crowd of about 200 after forcing the group to disperse from a law enforcement precinct in Portland, Ore., late August 1, 2020.
Some demonstrators filled pool noodles with nails and placed them in the road, causing extensive damage to a patrol vehicle, police said.
Police in the OR city documented two separate instances Thursday of two elderly women attempting to extinguish fires and being confronted by unruly protesters, many clad in apocalyptic all-black uniforms with helmets and goggles.
Since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, protests over racial injustice and police brutality have occurred nightly for more than 70 days. Eight were arrested after police used tear gas to disperse the violent mob.
He pointed to a Wednesday night incident in which he said protesters barricaded exits to the Portland Police Bureau's East Precinct building using cars and wooden planks and disabled security cameras to start a fire that "was meant to cause serious injury or death, and it very well could have".
"Several people in the group began to ram a large 2 by 4 piece of wood in to the front glass doors in an effort to shatter them".
"As arrests were made, certain crowd members began throwing rocks towards officers", police said in a statement.
Police said Saturday that they arrested 24 people during the overnight demonstration. One report, found that July was the deadliest one-month period for Portland in more than 30 years.
Wednesday night's activity was in a residential neighborhood six miles from the federal courthouse, at a police precinct. Most were in their 20s or 30s.
It was at least the third time since protests broke out in the city in late May that smaller crowds have targeted police precincts with barricades and fire.
The charges included assault on an officer, interfering with an officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
As anger has been bubbling back up among demonstrators, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who also serves as the city's police commissioner, held a news conference on Thursday in which he likened some of the protesters' actions to attempted murder. One officer was severely injured by a rock, police said, but no additional details were provided. They set another fire in the street and braced for the crowd control weapons that have become a almost ubiquitous presence in the city since the protests began in late-May. US agents arrested at least an additional 94 people during protests at the federal courthouse in July.