PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dozens of demonstrators gathered in downtown Portland on the night of the 4th of July, smashing windows, shooting off mortars into the federal building and burning an American flag in a protest over the death of Jayland Walker in Ohio.
This gathering in Lownsdale Square on the 4th of July coincided with large crowds in downtown Portland for both the Waterfront Blues Fest and the fireworks over the Willamette River. It was labeled a “direct action” march, the same term used in previous demonstrations that turned destructive.
Walker, 25, was shot to death June 27 by Akron, Ohio police after a pursuit that began with an attempted traffic stop. He had more than 60 wounds on his body, but it’s not clear yet how many of those were bullet wounds.
As of 10 p.m., there were about 50-100 people gathered. At least 2 mortars were fired and went past the gates of the federal building. They began to march through the streets of downtown Portland, breaking windows as they went.
Windows at the Bank of America at SW 5th and Salmon, the T-Mobile building near Pioneer Courthouse Square, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Gucci store were among those smashed.
KOIN 6 News learned a security guard at a downtown hotel was attacked and someone got pepper sprayed.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.
Just days before, an unlawful assembly was declared when a group of marchers broke windows in Portland’s Piedmont neighborhood.
That night KOIN 6 News observed roughly 60 people gathered in Peninsula Park before they started smashing nearby windows and marching down Rosa Parks Way. Police said the damage was done to a building that used to be a coffee shop.
Earlier that day, a local Catholic Church canceled a prayer event out of concerns about vandalism.
About a week before, on June 25, about 200 people gathered in Grant Park in Portland before a large group of them marched down Sandy Boulevard smashing windows in what was labeled a march for abortion rights.
On that Saturday night, banks and coffee shops had windows broken by this “destructive group,” police said, along with damaging a Portland school van by breaking windows and tagging it.