Portland protests again culminate in use of tear gas by federal agents

A large protest in Portland, Oregon Sunday night started peacefully but intensified early Monday, leading to the use of tear gas by federal agents, following a recent pattern. Demonstrators have been raising their voices against police brutality and for racial justice.

Earlier, a bag containing loaded rifle magazines and Molotov cocktails was found at a park near where the protests have erupted for two months since the death of George Floyd, police said.

A photo of the items was shared in a tweet from police late Sunday saying someone pointed out the bag to officers at Lownsdale Square Park late Sunday. No further information was immediately released.

The discovery came just hours after two people were arrested following reports that a shot was fired in the same park. Officers responded just before 7:30 p.m. A person believed to be the gunshot victim arrived later at a hospital via a private vehicle with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

It wasn’t clear if either incident was connected to the demonstrations.

Portland has seen protests nightly since Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in May. President Trump said he sent federal agents to Portland to halt the unrest but state and local officials said they’re making the situation worse.

CBS Portland affiliate KOIN-TV said demonstrators were facing triple-digit temperatures Sunday, their highest of the year.

LOIN said Some protesters crowded around the fence surrounding the federal courthouse in downtown Portland and shot off fireworks. U.S. agents deployed tear gas and flash bangs and warned protesters to stay off federal property. Then they declared an unlawful assembly.

KOIN’s Hannah Ray Lambert tweeted dramatic video from the scene:

Feds came out again. A person next to me looked like they got some pepper ball shrapnel to the face. pic.twitter.com/62DjVicSiV

Lambert kept a running account of events.

Twenty-four hours before, authorities had declared a riot early Sunday morning. Protesters breached a fence surrounding the courthouse building where U.S. agents have been stationed. Protesters remained in the streets past 2:30 a.m., forming lines across intersections and holding makeshift shields, as police patrolled and closed blocks abutting the area. Portland police said they arrested six people.

In the hours leading up to the riot declaration, thousands of people marched through parts of the city. Protesters paused outside a downtown hotel, where federal agents are staying, chanting “Feds go home” and yelling the names of Black people killed by police.

During demonstrations Friday night, federal agents repeatedly fired tear gas to break up rowdy protests that continued into the early morning Saturday. Authorities say six federal officers were injured and one person was arrested.

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