Portland police arrest 27 as U.S. city nears 100 days of protests

(Reuters) - Portland police made multiple arrests overnight on Friday as the Oregon city nears 100 days of demonstrations against U.S. racism and police brutality, which have at times turned violent.

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Police arrested 27 people, mostly on charges of interfering with law enforcement or disorderly conduct after not complying with orders to clear the area where they assembled and throwing items at officers.

“Officers began to make targeted arrests and in some cases moved the crowd back and kept them out of the street,” according to a press released issued on Saturday.

One arrested protester was injured with a “bleeding abrasion” on her head, police said.

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.

In Rochester, New York on Friday night nearly 1,000 demonstrators marched downtown to protest the March death of black man Daniel Prude in police custody. Police used pepper balls to clear protesters during protests the night before, according to local news reports.

Portland has become the epicenter of demonstrations, with protests taking place nightly over the last three months calling for policing and social justice reforms. These have at times turned into clashes between demonstrators and officers, as well as between right- and left-wing groups.

Police shot and killed a self-declared anti-fascist activist in Washington state on Thursday night as they moved in to arrest him on suspicion he fatally shot a right-wing counterprotester last weekend in Portland.

The administration of President Donald Trump deployed federal forces to Portland in July to crack down on the protests. Trump signed a memo on Wednesday that threatens to cut federal funding to “lawless” cities, including Portland.

His Democratic challenger in the Nov. 3 presidential election, Joe Biden, has accused Trump of stoking violence with his rhetoric.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Editing by Frances Kerry and Alistair Bell