PORTLAND'S police chief is pleading with protesters to put a stop to "endless destruction" after a group tried to smash their way into an ICE building Wednesday night.
Cops fired tear gas on the crowds after protesters pounded on the window of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement complex in the city, with some reportedly breaking windows and spray-painting expletives on the walls.
The destruction came a day after a group of around 200 protesters torched the city's Multnomah Building.
Portland has been the home of daily protests calling for racial equality and police reform for nearly three months in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and other black Americans. The protests have occasionally turned violent.
The incident at the ICE building on Wednesday night led police to declare a riot in the city for the second straight night.
After the Multnomah Building was torched, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell released a statement condemning the "senseless criminal activity" that has been occurring in the city.
"Breaking windows, using accelerants to ensure a fire catches and damaging property are not solutions, but further demonstrate the intent to engage in anarchy at the expense of the entire community," Lovell wrote.
"To effect change, we must work to build and not destroy."
Lovell continued to denounce the "endless destruction" within the city, and called on residents to work with law enforcement as a community to work on the changes they want to see.
Wednesday's unrest came after more than 200 protesters started marching on the ICE building around 9.30pm, according to The Oregonian.
Protesters were apparently warned against damaging the building or setting fires by an announcement when they arrived. The announcement also warned protesters that crowd-control tactics could be used if they failed to comply.
Some protesters reportedly began spray-painting on the building, placing traffic cones over security cameras and attempting to break windows, The Oregonian reported.
About three dozen officers came out of the building around 10pm and attempted to disperse the crowd, according to reports.
After some back and forth, and police ordering protesters to disperse, officers began using tear gas and reportedly detained several protesters around midnight.
There were complaints of violence from both sides, according to the Oregonian, with protesters claiming that were hit by projectiles or shoved by police, and officers claiming they suffered injuries from rocks and other items protesters were allegedly throwing at them.
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