Riot declared, dozens arrested and officers injured in Portland, Seattle, Chicago protests

Dozens were arrested over the weekend in major cities including Portland, Seattle and Pittsburgh as demonstrations over systemic racism and police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd continued.

Video taken Sunday showed a confrontation blocks away from a peaceful protest in Portland after police declared a riot overnight Saturday. Protests, often violent, have happened nightly in Portland for more than two months follow Floyd's death on Memorial Day in Minneapolis. 

Police in Seattle, where Chief Carmen Best recently announced her resignation, said protests erupted into violence Sunday night and at least three officers were injured and 18 people were arrested. In Pittsburgh, the American Civil Liberties Union condemned the "snatch-and-stash" tactic used during the arrest of a protester at a Saturday march. 

Weekend protests against police brutality in Chicago devolved into violent skirmishes resulting in two dozen arrests, 17 injured officers and at least two injured protesters.

A man appeared to have been punched and kicked unconscious by demonstrators just blocks away from a peaceful protest in Portland as unrest continued in Oregon’s biggest city.

Multiple videos posted online apparently showed the man sitting in the street next to a truck that he had been driving, which had crashed and come to a stop on a sidewalk Sunday night, news outlets reported. People were crowded around him and he appeared to have been punched at least once and later kicked in the head — knocking him flat.

The man was later loaded into an ambulance and taken to a hospital with serious injuries, Portland police Sgt. Kevin Allen told The Oregonian/Oregon Live. The truck was towed. It was unclear what exactly led up to the crash and the confrontation.

Separately, a protest that began Sunday evening was led by Letha Winston, whose son Patrick Kimmons, 27, was fatally shot by Portland police in 2018. The group marched through downtown and ended up outside the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse where people left flowers and candles beside a photo of Kimmons.

Overnight Saturday a riot was declared and police used crowd control munitions, including smoke, to disperse a gathering outside a law enforcement building.

Authorities said people had thrown “softball size” rocks, glass bottles and other objects at officers. Two police officers were treated at the hospital after being hit by rocks. Eleven people were arrested.

Three police officers were injured and 18 people were arrested as a result of a riot in Seattle involving explosives, bottles and rocks, authorities said.

A protest against the Seattle Police Officers Guild erupted into violence just after 10 p.m. Sunday night, police said in a news release. Someone set off a large explosive and attempted to break the window of a police vehicle, the statement said.

Police ordered the crowd to disperse and then people began throwing rocks and bottles at officers, the release stated. Fireworks were also thrown at officers, KIRO-TV reported.

Of the three officers injured, police said one was hospitalized. The department released photos of some of the injuries including one officer with a black eye and another with a burn mark on their neck.

Blast balls and “OC spray” — also known as pepper spray — were used to disperse the crowd, police said. The 18 individuals arrested were booked in the King County Jail.

Mayor defends Chicago police after clash with protesters

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot praised city police Sunday for “fairly quickly” settling weekend protests that devolved into violent skirmishes while activists and other elected officials blasted police for unnecessary aggressive tactics.

The day of demonstrations against police brutality started peacefully Saturday with a march around noon. Later, a separate demonstration near downtown resulted in two dozen arrests, 17 injured officers and at least two injured protesters. None of the injuries were believed to be life threatening.

Lightfoot told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that agitators “have embedded themselves in these seemingly peaceful protests and come for a fight” though the clashes were “over very fairly quickly because our police department is resolved to make sure that we protect peaceful protests.”

Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown said that some in the group used black umbrellas to make it harder for police to see them, pushed officers and assaulted them. In one video released by Chicago police, a person swinging a skateboard strikes an officer.

At the same time, activist groups and some elected officials called out police for using aggressive tactics, including spraying the crowd with a chemical irritant and striking protesters with batons.

“The march was peaceful until CPD and other law enforcement agencies began an all-out assault on protesters,” said a Sunday statement from youth activist group Increase The Peace.

Saturday’s march against police brutality followed a route near the Dan Ryan Expressway after police blocked the group of about 200 people from getting on the expressway.

The march came about a week after a police shooting of a black man in the Englewood neighborhood on the city’s South Side prompted large crowds of people to go to the downtown shopping area, where they smashed windows of dozens of businesses and took merchandise from stores.

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