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Protests intensify across U.S.: Police in Portland and Seattle police declare riot

Tension flared across the U.S. as thousands of protesters rallied against racial injustice on Saturday night, with authorities in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, each declaring a riot.

Driving the news: Clashes between federal agents and Portland protesters triggered huge turnouts and clashes with authorities in several U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and Richmond, Virginia, per the New York Times. Unrest in Portland continued into Sunday, with police announcing in a tweet just after 4 a.m. that a riot had been declared.


In Seattle, the police department said in a statement officers had arrested 45 people following unrest during massive protests in the city's East Precinct.

  • Police used pepper spray in an attempt to disperse demonstrators at the former Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, per AP, which notes thousands of people turned out earlier to rally peacefully in support of the Portland protesters.
  • Police said 21 officers "sustained injuries after being struck by bricks, rocks mortars/other explosives."
  • Most officers were able to return to duty, but one was treated at a hospital for a knee injury, the statement said.

In Los Angeles, hundreds of people rallied in a show of solidarity for Portland protesters in a largely peaceful demonstration, but "several demonstrators shattered windows" of a U.S. government building and some "painted anti-fascist, anti-police messages on its walls and signage," the Los Angeles Daily News reports, citing police.

In Richmond, Virginia, "police fired chemical agents at hundreds of protesters who had marched through the city and gathered around the Richmond Police Department," according to the New York Times.

  • Richmond Police Department said in a series of tweets that an "unlawful assembly" had been declared at the department's headquarters and that protesters "set a city dump truck ablaze" outside the building.

In Louisville, Kentucky, the NFAC, a Black militia that stands for "Not F--king Around Coalition," rallied to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot by police in March. The Three Percenters, a far-right militia group, staged a counter-protest.

  • Three people were hit by gunfire Saturday when someone’s gun discharged at the NFAC demonstration, police said.

In Aurora, Colorado, on Saturday a car drove into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters, a demonstrator then fired a weapon, wounding one activist and a courthouse office was set on fire later in the night, police said.

In Austin, Texas, police detained a suspect after one man was fatally shot during a Black Lives Matter protest downtown.

In Portland, thousands marched in the 58th straight day of protests in the city, AP reports. The police tweeted during the demonstration that "anyone in the road may be subject to arrest for Disorderly Conduct, Interfering with a Peace Officer or other laws."

  • Craig Gabriel, an assistant U.S. attorney in Oregon, said protests were largely peaceful, but some "federal agents had been injured by fireworks and lasers that protesters shone into their eyes" and that police had arrested 60 people, per the Times.

In Omaha, California, police arrested up to 100 protesters after they obstructed a road while protesting the death of James Scurlock, a Black demonstrator killed by a white bar owner in May, and also to show solidarity with Portland protesters, according to KMTV.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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