Nearly one year ago a man named Gavaughn Streeter-Hillerich set fire to a dumpster outside the Portland Police Bureau’s north precinct. The dumpster was pushed up against plywood covering the windows. At the time there were 19 people inside the building. Now Streeter-Hillerich will spend five years in prison:
A man who pleaded guilty to first-degree arson after starting a fire at the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct on June 26, 2020, will spend five years in prison.
Gavaughn Streeter-Hillerich will be required to pay an undetermined amount of restitution to the city of Portland and be in post-prison supervision for three years after his release, according to Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
That bland description doesn’t really give the full picture of what happened. Here’s the police description of the violence that started on June 25th and went into the early morning of the 26th. This wasn’t just a spontaneous act. The rioters announced their intent to burn down the precinct down after barricading the doors so no one could leave.
By 11:00 p.m., demonstrators began moving dumpsters and other large barriers around North Precinct. Some demonstrators began ramming the dumpsters into large garage doors located on the west side of the North Precinct in an attempt to breach the building. Demonstrators were not successful at breeching the doors so they turned their attention to barricading exit doors so officers inside the building, as well as people in custody, could not get out (photo).
By 12:00 a.m., a demonstrator in the crowd outside North Precinct began yelling over a bullhorn that they were “going to burn the building down”. Several demonstrators in the crowd were wearing masks and yielding shields. Fireworks were thrown at Officers over the barricade they had built on Northeast Emerson Street…
At approximately 1:21 a.m., officers began dispersing the crowd in an effort to move them from the immediate area. While performing this lawful action, demonstrators fought with officers. Furthermore, demonstrators shot officers with paintball rounds, causing officers not to be able to see out of their face shields. Around 1:40 a.m., a mortar was launched on to the roof of North Precinct. During this time, crowd control munitions were deployed.
By 2:14 a.m., demonstrators had set the north side of North Precinct on fire. To protect the life and safety of police personnel and community members inside the precinct, CS gas was used to disperse the crowd. Several demonstrators picked up the canisters of CS gas and threw it at the police.
Around 2:56 a.m., demonstrators began looting and setting fire to businesses in the area. Several business windows were broken and fires were set to property. By 3:30 a.m., a majority of the crowd had dispersed.
The next day, Police Chief Lovell condemned the behavior of the mob, calling it “evil.”
“The acts that took place here last night are not only reprehensible, but they are evil,” said Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. “There are people inside these buildings we are trying to protect. It needs to stop and stop today.”
This may have been one of the first times that black leaders in the city condemned the behavior of Antifa who claimed they were acting on behalf of BLM. Some black leaders called Antifa’s actions terrorism.
Many faith leaders and members of Portland’s Black community spoke passionately during Friday’s news conference, denouncing the violence as an attempt to distract people from the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We’ve got to call terrorism terrorism,” said Pastor Steven Holt. “A distraction from owning the systemic racism that’s brought the community to this point.”
“Whoever was behind this that [thinks] they were doing it, or perhaps are trying to have us think that they are doing it, in the name of Black Lives Matter we know that it was just the opposite,” Self Enhancement, Inc. President and CEO Tony Hopson said, “Not only is it not about Black Lives Matter, it’s against Black Lives Matter! Don’t allow ourselves to get distracted. I’m almost upset [we’re] even here and have to put this kind of attention on them.”
That divide between BLM and Antifa has continued ever since. In any case, it’s good to see some of the people responsible for this destructive behavior heading to prison. Here’s a local news report on the incident from last June: