U.S. News

Police declare gathering outside Portland's City Hall a 'riot', order crowd to disperse

(Reuters) - Police in the U.S. city of Portland late on Tuesday declared a gathering of hundreds of protesters outside City Hall as a riot, ordering the crowd to disperse or face arrest.

“To those on SW 4th Avenue outside of City Hall. This gathering has been declared a riot”, Portland Police said on Twitter.

“Failure to comply with this order may subject you to citation or arrest, and may subject you to the use of tear gas, crowd control munitions, and/or impact weapons.”

The Oregonian newspaper reported that about 200 demonstrators assembled downtown at Shemanski Park before marching to the City Hall, where some in the crowd broke glass doors and smashed a door switch.

The newspaper said police were seen making numerous arrests.

The development comes after Portland Police declared a riot late on Monday and made 25 arrests as fires were lit at the offices of the police association following a gathering near the city’s North Lombard Street and North Campbell Avenue area.

Police used tear to disperse the Monday night demonstration.

Demonstrations against racism and police brutality have swept the United States since the death in May of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

President Donald Trump’s administration in July deployed federal forces to Portland to crack down on the protests.

On Friday, Trump denounced the demonstrations as “crazy” and said cities run by Democrats had descended into chaos. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is a Democrat.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry