Portland police confirmed that “the Justice Center has been attacked and a fire has been lit inside.” Videos from the scene showed protesters had breached the building and were starting fires on desks. You can see videos of the Portland Justice Center attack throughout this article.
The Portland incident came as riots/protests escalated throughout the country in the wake of the Minneapolis death of George Floyd. A viral video showed a now-charged and former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, restraining Chauvin with a knee to the neck. Floyd later died. Chauvin was hit with third-degree murder and manslaughter charges on May 29 and is in custody.
Masked militants ransacking the Justice Center in downtown Portland. Many came prepared with chemicals to start fires and weapons to break windows. #antifa #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/jkJCu3bc2n
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) May 30, 2020
“Portland, this is NOT us,” Mayor Ted Wheeler wrote on Twitter. “When you destroy our city, you are destroying our community. When you act in violence against each other, you are hurting all of us. How does this honor the legacy of George Floyd? Protest, speak truth, but don’t tear your city apart in the process.”
Protests then erupted throughout the country. In Portland, video showed desks on fire and graffiti on the walls inside the justice center. Thousands of protesters descended on Portland.
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) May 30, 2020
Police declared the protest an “unlawful assembly.”
“There has been significant vandalism and a shooting connected to this protest. People need to go home. This event has been declared an unlawful assembly. If you do not go home now, force will be used to disperse you,” they warned. Police also wrote, “PPBs GVRT is currently investigating three separate shootings involving two victims. One shooting occurred downtown (press release). The second incident was near Farragut Park. The third incident location is being determined but believed to be related to the demonstration.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Photos & Videos Showed Protesters Descending on the Justice Center
It’s on fire. The Multnomah county Justice Center is on fire. pic.twitter.com/PhEhcyDjoE
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) May 30, 2020
People had varied reactions on social media. Here are some of them:
“The Justice Center in downtown Portland is on fire due to riots. My husband works in law enforcement in Portland. Please please please don’t put my family in danger.”
“Tear gas and flash bangs deployed in downtown Portland with no warnings from police. We were given an order to leave but they did not tell protesters they were going to start using weapons.”
— ISCResearch (@ISCResearch) May 30, 2020
“Portland police department just used a ton of tear gas on protesters while physically pushing them to clear out the protest downtown … be safe y’all :/.”
“to all my friends in portland protests rn pls be careful and cover ur face protect yourselves, one of my friends just got tear gassed like please be careful.”
“Always the same ~20 assholes who grab all the headlines and pile up taxpayer’s bills. They do not represent anyone in Portland but themselves.
Portland’s real progressives are peaceful, inclusive & civically engaged, while these cosplay anarchist revolutionaries just break sh*t
Face with symbols over mouth.”
According to KATU-TV, protesters converged on the Justice Center in Southwest Portland shortly before 11 p.m. Graffiti was seen painted on the building, including a profanity, and other vandalism, including broken windows.”
Other businesses were looted, including a Verizon store.
I’m at NE MLK and Weidler in Portland, my photojournalist arrived before I did and saw 3 people come up in a vehicle and loot this Verizon store. He says the glass was already broken before they arrived #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/5VDZbOfmd3
— Dan McCarthy (@DanMcKATU) May 30, 2020
The Justice Center includes various offices, including the District Attorney’s office.
— keithk42 (@keithk42) May 30, 2020
“This justice Center in Portland is on fire,” wrote one woman on Twitter. “What symbol do these people think this paints? This houses the County Circuit Court. What purpose does this serve?”