PORTLAND, Ore. (NewsNation Now) — Hundreds of people gathered for rallies and marches against police violence and racial injustice Saturday night in Portland, Oregon. It was the 100th straight night of unrest in the city since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Police declared the demonstrations, which turned violent, as a riot, after 9 p.m. (PT). More than 50 people were arrested, according to police.
Protesters threw “multiple fire bombs, mortars, rocks, and other items” at officers, Portland Police said in a statement.
“In order to defend themselves from these assaults, officers used crowd control munitions, including tear gas,” the department said in a statement.
Police described what they called “tumultuous and violent conduct” by demonstrators on the city’s Southeast Stark Street.
“One of them caught a community member on fire. Officers later located the injured person and Portland Fire and Rescue medics offered treatment,” the statement from Portland Police said.
Authorities said the injured person was later taken to a hospital.
Demonstrations in Portland started in late May following George Floyd’s death after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Protests have at times turned into violent clashes with police.
On the 100th day of protests in Portland, demonstrators vowed to keep coming into the streets.
Tupac Leahy, a 23-year-old Black man from Portland, said he had probably been out to protests for about 70 of the 100 days of demonstrations.
Leahy said he wanted to see a significant reduction to the local police budget, with the money directed to other community needs. He said the demonstrations would continue for some time.
“I think it’s going to keep going on until the election,” Leahy said. “I don’t see it slowing down.”
Chelsea Jordan, 30, of Portland, said: “I feel the people here have a lot of heart and a lot of commitment.”
Jordan was helping spray yellow paint on cutouts to mark the names of Black people killed by police.
“I want to keep at it until the full abandonment of the police, so I think it’s going to be a long fight,” she said.
President Donald Trump signed a memo on Wednesday that threatens to cut federal funding to “lawless” cities, citing Portland. His Democratic challenger in the Nov. 3 presidential election, Joe Biden, has accused Trump of stoking violence with his rhetoric.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.