PORTLAND—Portland Police Bureau declared a gathering outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in South Portland a riot on Wednesday night, August 19.
Protesters threw softball sized rocks at police officers, lit fires, broke windows, and vandalized the building during the demonstration outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building on August 19, according to Portland Police Bureau. They said they declared a riot due to these violent acts. 30-year-old Joshua Buckley and 25-year-old Mark Putman were arrested, said police.
A couple hundred people gathered in Elizabeth Caruthers Park, and a march started around 9:15 p.m. The protesters group reached the ICE building, and traffic was blocked on Southwest Bancroft Street at South Moody Avenue, said police. Police also said at about 9:28 p.m., the group started blocking the traffic, shining lasers at Federal officers, and vandalizing property. Due to these violent acts, Portland Police Bureau declared an unlawful assembly at 10:07 p.m. Portland Police Bureau made announcements to inform people that they needed to disperse to the north.
At 10:18 p.m., police officers began trying to disperse the crowd, and protesters who carried shields threw glass bottles and rocks. By 10:37 p.m., the crowd returned to the ICE building, and the group began throwing soft ball-sized rocks at police officers, said police. At 10:49 p.m., Portland police began to disperse the crowd, while officers were attacked by the large rocks, full cans of soda, and a hammer. Because of those dangerous acts, the gathering was declared a riot. Portland Police Bureau announced that the crowd needed to disperse immediately to the north, and informed that if they failed to disperse they could subject individuals to citation or arrest, tear gas, crowd control munitions, or impact weapons.
The group lit a fire on a mattress in the middle of the intersection, after the group arrived at South Gaines Street and South Bond Avenue, said police. Police also said at 11:30 p.m., a larger fire was generated on a picnic table from a nearby business. At 11:39 p.m., a majority of the group marched towards the ICE building, and when they arrived they began breaking windows to the building, according to the police.
Police made announcements again to warn the crowd to disperse to the north, but the majority of the group engaged in criminal behavior, said police. Officers were hit with more large rocks and water bottles and some people were place under police custody during the dispersal. The majority of the group dispersed by 1:30 a.m, according to the police.