The Portland Police Association (PPA) is the police union that has represented rank-and-file members of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) – police officers, sergeants, detectives and criminalists – since its establishment in 1942. It states that its aim is to advocate for and represent its members, as well as help, connect Portland's officers with the communities that they serve.
Reports from the PPB stated that at around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, the Antifa and BLM rioters were able to break into the association's office and start a fire, while other members of the crowd tried to block off parts of nearby North Lombard Street with dumpsters, which were also set on fire, to try and slow down the inevitable police response.
As the fire inside the PPA office was ignited and it began to spread, the rioters, many of whom were wearing helmets and were armed with shields and improvised clubs, started chanting “Black Lives Matter!” (Related: By refusing to acknowledge nightly BLM violence in Portland, the mainstream media is complicit in turning American streets into war zones.)
The rioters fled the scene as soon as officers from the PPB arrived to respond to the break-in and attempted arson. Several officers went into the PPA building to put out the fire.
Soon afterward, the PPB declared the evening's demonstration outside the building to be a riot “due to the violent conduct of the large group creating a grave risk of public alarm,” according to their statement.
Order around the area was restored by 11:30 p.m. but before that time the officers engaged in a running battle with rioters who were throwing projectiles such as rocks, smoke bombs and paint-filled balloons. The PPB reported that several of their officers were injured by these weapons.
The union building is located in a residential area of Portland. This means that, if the PPB hadn't reacted quickly, the attempted arson could have spread to nearby houses.
Ash Leabenworth, who has lived several houses down from the PPA building for the past eight years, said that up until several weeks ago, the neighborhood had always been a quiet area.
“We heard shouting and then after a little while we heard a pretty big bang, which we came to realize was the dumpster being lit on fire in the middle of Lombard ... We felt pretty scared for our neighbors then.”
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On Sunday, the morning after the attempted arson attack, Daryl Turner, president of the PPA, held a press conference outside the union office. He was surrounded by several people including local residents, PPB officers, business owners and faith leaders, as he said that the violence Portland is experiencing has to stop and that the residents of the city have had enough of the riots.
“The elected officials have condoned the destruction and chaos,” said Turner. “They have placed their political agenda ahead of the safety and welfare of the community. This must stop.”
Turner continued his statement by claiming that the riots in Portland are no longer about George Floyd, the Minnesota man whose death kickstarted the nationwide wave of rioting and civil unrest. He said it was also no longer about “racial equity, social justice reform or the evolution of policing.”
“This is about violence, rioting and destruction. Our city is under siege by rioters.”
After Turner's statement, Pastor J.J.W. Matt Hennessee of the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church issued a call for Portlanders to have a “moratorium” on future demonstrations. Hennessee also stated that Portland needs to be taken “off the front page” of national news outlets, and a pause on demonstrations would give Portlanders some much-needed peace.
Turner and the PPA's call to stop the rioters echoes the sentiments of the Trump administration, who have repeatedly stated that the attacks on Portland and on federal buildings like the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in the Downtown Portland neighborhood have to end.
The Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf, has even said himself that Portland was “under siege... by a violent mob.”
Portland has now been dealing with over 50 days of continuous peaceful protests, which occur during the day, and violent riots and demonstrations, which happen in the evenings. Stay updated on the latest events in Portland and in other Antifa and Black Lives Matter hot spots across the country at Rioting.news.