Portland rioters vandalize city hall, 23 arrested (plus all the calls police couldn't answer)

A riot was declared in Portland last night after a group of about 150 people marched to City Hall and began to vandalize it.

Within minutes of the crowd arriving, people blocked vehicular traffic on Southwest 4th Avenue and were seen spray painting and vandalizing City Hall. Crowd members were seen entering City Hall and breaking windows that were not covered up by boards. Others were seen smashing security features on the building including a surveillance camera. Once crowd members had breached the doors to City Hall, several people entered the closed building, including those with “press” affixed to their person. Due to the seriousness of the crowd’s criminal behavior, the incident commander determined that the event was an unlawful assembly…

At 11:10 p.m., a man was seen igniting an aerosol can while spraying it towards City Hall in an attempt to set the building on fire. At the time of the fire, site security guards were working inside the building. Due to the extreme life safety concerns of those working inside the building, the incident commander determined that it was a riot.

You can see people milling around the entrance last night.

A view of some of the damage inside the building last night:

Note the “Abolish USA” graffiti on the back door right next to the “BLM” graffiti.

The claim circulating on Twitter is that the front doors to City Hall had been left unlocked.

Some at the scene were even suggesting it was a trap. I guess the idea here is that if the doors were open then of course the rioters would have to go in an destroy property.

Outside, the rioters set up another shield wall last night as police were trying to move them away from the building. As you can see, police charged it and broke it up pretty quickly.

Last night was the 13th riot declared in Portland this month. This KGW report includes an interview with neighbors who lives near one of the frequent targets of the rioters. One woman says everyone is under constant tension wondering what will happen each night.

Finally, Portland police released a video yesterday to highlight something that isn’t getting nearly enough attention. While all of this chaos is taking place each night, police do not have the numbers to deal with the rioters and handle all of the calls for service they would normally handle. What this means is that police are simply not available to help people in anything but the most dire cases.

This clip was shot last Friday night. It shows Sgt. Silverman going through a list of active calls that police do not have manpower to respond to. These include a car theft, multiple reports of gunshots, etc.

I’ve made this point before but it needs to be made again. When people like CNN’s Brian Stelter push the idea that riots only impact a tiny fraction of the city they clearly aren’t thinking clearly. Anyone who was in the North Precinct last Friday was subject to having no police response to a call because of these riots.