This past Friday in towns and large cities all across the U.S., almost rabid protests sparked off in the wake of a verdict from the jury of the Kyle Rittenhouse case that found him not guilty on all counts.
At roughly 9:00 p.m. local time, police officials out in Portland, Oregon officially declared a riot as the protests started to become more violent. The groups forming to protests had already been in the area for an extended period of time, as reported by KOIN 6, before they turned more violent and started to smash doors and windows of city-owned facilities, and start to tear down construction signs and fencing to repurpose as barricades. They had started “tampering with” a roll-up security gate locking the door at the city’s Justice Center when the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, along with local police presence, when the call came down to declare it a riot. During the event, a police officers patrol vehicle had its windows broken, multiple debris and trash fires were sparked, and there was talk heard about a group planning to burn down the whole Justice Center, which is host to a county jail, a courthouse, and the Portland Police Bureau.
Groups of protestors came into contact with police after encroaching on the Justice Center and moving towards the jailhouse. The crowd proceeded to turn “hostile,” and started flinging “urine, alcoholic beverages, water bottles and batteries,” stated a spokesperson for the staff at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department. Soon after, police officials were able to toss back the rioters and get the gate closed again. One person was issued a citation and another was arrested. Over five cars associated with the groups were also stopped which led to police handing out five tickets and roughly seventeen warnings. The remainders of the crowd had, for the most part, dispersed by 11 p.m. that evening.
Across the country out in New York City, a group of five people was taken into custody and some goods and properties were damaged in Queens, as reported by the New York Post. groups of protesters were reported in Crowley Park, and the Middle Village and Maspeth neighborhoods. Another set of roughly 300 protesters assembled outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn before setting out to march their way across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan before breaking up.
One borough councilman from Queens, Robert Holden, stated to the Post that once moving through Crowley Park, the groups of demonstrators were reportedly seen “jumping on cars and stealing American flags” all along residential streets in the various neighborhoods. Holden threw the blame for the demonstrations on Mayor Bill De Blasio’s reaction to the verdict on Twitter, stating that his reactions only “added gasoline to the fire.”
He went on to state to the Post that he had reached out to the mayor via text, stating, “Thousands of families mind[ing] their own business are in danger tonight because of your reckless reaction to the trial verdict.”