Thomas Catenacci, DCNF
Portland police officers recovered Molotov cocktails and rifle ammunition late Sunday evening near the U.S. courthouse that has been the site of recent protests.
The Portland Police Department recovered the “destructive devices” in a bag in Lownsdale Square Park across the street from the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse while investigating a shots fired call, police said. The discovery occurred as protesters and rioters continued to clash with federal agents protecting the courthouse.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 27, 2020
Protesters lobbed fireworks, rocks, cans and other objects at officers protecting the courthouse who have responded by using non-lethal weapons to control the crowd, The Associated Press reported.
When we were out inside the fence line, someone fired off a mortar. It exploded inches away from us, but no one was hurt. A large bonfire had been started in the street & people were aiming fireworks through the fire at officers behind the fence. It was almost 2:30 a.m. then. pic.twitter.com/qVsH1T1DQM
The lights inside the courthouse have to be turned off for safety & the light from high-powered lasers bounced across the lobby almost all night. The fear is palpable. Three officers were struck in the last few weeks & still haven’t regained their vision. pic.twitter.com/33Mt2WyNsV
— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) July 27, 2020
Protests in Portland have occurred for more than 55 consecutive days since the death of George Floyd who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, video of the incident shows. Violence intensified, though, after President Donald Trump’s administration authorized the mobilization of federal agents, who are largely Department of Homeland Security officers, to help quell protests, according to The New York Times.
A federal judge denied the Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblaum’s request for an order to stop federal agents from arresting Portland protesters Friday, NBC affiliate KGW News reported. Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke out against the use of federal agents at a protest Wednesday and was later tear gassed.
Over the weekend, protests occurred in Seattle, Washington; Austin, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Oakland, California; Aurora, Colorado and Richmond, Virginia, according to various media outlets. Many nationwide protests are organized in solidarity with Portland.
Trump authorized federal agents to be sent to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico on Wednesday to assist local police in responding to violence, according to U.S. News.
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