PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Law enforcement in Portland rioted Friday night as about 200 protesters protested the acquittal of a teenager who killed two people and injured another in Wisconsin .
Protesters were smashing windows, throwing items at police and talking about torching a local government building in downtown Portland, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said. The crowd dispersed around 11 p.m., KOIN TV reported.
The Portland Police Department said several people had received subpoenas, but only one person who had an outstanding warrant in another case was arrested.
Protesters rallied after the acquittal of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse killed two people and injured another during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin last year.
Protests took place in several other US cities until Saturday against the verdict, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
About 1,000 people marched through downtown Chicago on Saturday afternoon, organized by Black Lives Matter Chicago and other local activist groups. According to the Chicago Tribune, the protesters were holding signs that read “STOP WHITE SUPREMACY” and “WE HIT THE STREETS TO PROTEST AGAINST THIS SYSTEM OF RACIST INJUSTICE” along with a photo of Rittenhouse carrying a gun.
Tanya Watkins, executive director of Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, spoke at a rally at Federal Plaza ahead of the march, according to the Tribune.
âEven though I’m not surprised by yesterday’s verdict, I’m tired. I’m disappointed. I am enraged. â¦ I have lost all faith in this legal system, âsaid Watkins, who is black.
In North Carolina, dozens of people gathered near the State Capitol on Saturday to protest the verdict, Raleigh News & Observer reported. Speakers led the crowd of around 75 chanting âNo justice, no peace! and “Abolish the police!” Police officers on motorcycles accompanied the protesters and blocked off traffic as they walked down a street past bars and restaurants.
After the murder of George Floyd last year by police in Minneapolis, there were ongoing protests, often violent, in Portland. Some activists complained that the police were brutal in their response. Shortly after Rittenhouse’s verdict, Portland Police Bureau chief Chuck Lovell said officers were working on plans for Friday night and the weekend.
At around 8:50 p.m., around 200 protesters had gathered in downtown Portland and were blocking the streets. At 9 p.m., windows were smashed and doors to city facilities were damaged.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office called the event a riot and said in a press release on Saturday that some protesters threw urine, water bottles and batteries at MPs.