(Headline USA) Law enforcement declared an unlawful assembly late Saturday, forcing rioters from downtown Portland, Oregon, and making several arrests, just hours after peaceful demonstrations earlier in the day that supported President Donald Trump.
Hundreds of people were gathered downtown in Oregon’s largest city, where rioters shot fireworks at police. Video posted by KOIN-TV showed officers warn that protesters who hurl projectiles will be subject to arrest.
Images showed the violent resisters crowded in and around a park near the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse — the same courthouse that had been the scene of nightly unrest over the summer. One was seen burning an American flag.
Several arrests were made, according to reporters at the scene, but a specific number was not immediately available.
The unrest came just hours after a conservative rally and counter-protesters largely dispersed without serious violence. Police did investigate an alleged assault after one person who was documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the face.
Separately, police said a criminal citation was issued after officials confiscated firearms, paintball guns, baseball bats and shields from a pick-up truck that was initially stopped for having obscured license plates as it left the rally.
Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton and Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese praised the minimal violence in a joint statement late Saturday.
“Our Unified Command worked well to prevent violence before it started,” Hampton said in the statement. “Law enforcement officers performed a number of traffic stops and took weapons off the streets.”
“On Saturday, Oregonians denounced hate, racism and violence,” Reese stated, adding that, “the Unified Command was able to help keep the peace.”
Several hundred people, dozens of them wearing body armor to protect themselves against Antifa attacks, gathered to support President Donald Trump and his “law and order” reelection campaign Saturday afternoon.
Organized by the Proud Boys, the rally was described as a free speech event to support Trump and police and condemn anti-fascists and “violent gangs of rioting felons” in the streets — which ended up materializing later in the night after the peaceful conservatives left.
TJ Detweiler, who works in construction and plumbing, said at the rally that he wanted to end domestic terrorism in the U.S.
“I would like to see people stop the looting and rioting and enjoy the country for what rights we have,” Detweiler said.
Liberal local and state elected officials condemned the event and rushed to shore up law enforcement ranks as left-wing groups organized several rallies to oppose the Proud Boys’ message. About 1,000 counter-protesters gathered at another park.
The events began at noon and were largely dispersed by 3 p.m.
The rally came as Portland has seen nearly nightly riots since the death of George Floyd during a police confrontation in late May.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.