Portland protesters targeted the federal courthouse again late Monday night, hurling a Molotov cocktail or “similar destructive device” at the building, which “burst into a fireball when it struck the building causing a report to be heard and felt more than a block away,” according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Protesters gathered in the downtown area for a series of speeches as a “large fire” burned where the 120-year-old Elk statue previously stood. The figure was removed after protesters repeatedly vandalized the statue and damaged its base.
Demonstrators — equipped with gas masks, helmets, shields hockey sticks, golf clubs, fireworks, and other objects — gathered outside of the federal courthouse and set a fire inside the fence. Others hurled fireworks and rocks over the area:
Fireworks and fires abound: pic.twitter.com/EsTzxtrYdI
— Richie🎥McG🍿 (@RichieMcGinniss) July 28, 2020
Shortly after midnight, an individual hurled a Molotov cocktail “or similar destructive device” at the front door of the courthouse “which burst into a fireball when it struck the building causing a report to be heard and felt more than a block away,” according to the Portland Police Bureau:
Antifa just threw what appears to be an IED at the federal courthouse. pic.twitter.com/fX1UMvsFUw
— Brittany (@Brittany3l) July 28, 2020
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 28, 2020
The crowd began to dissipate around 1 a.m., but, again, the Portland Police did not assist in crowd dispersal, nor did it deploy tear gas.
According to Department of Justice (DOJ) spokeswoman Kerri Kupec, federal authorities have arrested 72 Portland protesters and charged dozens with federal crimes:
Current # of federal arrests and charged cases related to violent opportunists & civil unrest ⬇️
⏹ 74 arrests
⏹ 60 defendants charged
Total Nationally —
⏹ 236 arrests
⏹ 238 defendants charged
— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) July 27, 2020