Portland protesters set fire at police building, 14 arrested

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Police officers pass a fire lit by protesters on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Hundreds of people gathered for rallies and marches against police violence and racial injustice Saturday night in Portland, Oregon, as often violent nightly demonstrations that have happened for 100 days since George Floyd was killed showed no signs of ceasing. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters in Portland late Thursday set fire to plywood attached to the front door of a police union building in Oregon’s largest city and clashed with officers, who made 14 arrests, police said in a statement.

Images posted online showed flames erupting outside the doors of the Portland Police Association office. Some protesters managed later to get on the roof of the building, police said in a statement Friday.

The protesters who were detained were arrested on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to interfering with officers and trespassing.

The violence came a day after people hurled several firebombs at officers during a demonstration over a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to not indict officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, police said.

The city has had nearly four months of near nightly protests over racial injustice and police brutality.

Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis said Wednesday night’s demonstrations were the most violent that Portland has experienced since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minnesota after a white officer held a knee to his neck.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt — who has been criticized for dismissing cases against hundreds of protesters — condemned the violence and called for calm.

Thirteen people were arrested during Wednesday night’s demonstration.

U.S. agents with the Federal Protective Service, who were guarding a federal courthouse nearby, offered assistance during the demonstration and Portland police accepted because it was an “emergency need in the moment,” Davis told reporters Thursday.

The right-wing group Proud Boys plans a rally in Portland this Saturday to support President Donald Trump and the police.

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