Several major U.S. cities erupted in violence overnight on the one-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death in a Louisville, Kentucky police raid, prompting dozens of detainments and arrests in places like Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, California.
The marches and arrests began on Friday. Around 100 individuals were detained and 13 were arrested when a demonstration in Portland turned into a riot and Portland police were forced to “kettle” protesters into a small area, filing them out, detaining, and searching them individually, according to the local media outlet KION.
“More than a dozen people were arrested and roughly 100 in total were detained after a march ended in widespread vandalism and criminal activity, according to the Portland Police Bureau,” the outlet noted. “A group began marching around 9 p.m. Friday, blocking traffic from Jamison Park on 11th Avenue. Soon after, some in the crowd began breaking windows leading officers to create a perimeter around the group on NW Marshall Street between NW 13th Avenue and NW 14th Avenue.”
Groups of protesters “physically charged” officers and, in some cases, linked arms so that they could better resist detainment. A number of demonstrators were also found to be hiding weapons: “PPB said officers found several items left behind by people inside the perimeter, including a crowbar, hammers, bear spray, slugging weapon with rocks, high impact slingshot, and knives.”
On Saturday night, protesters returned to downtown Portland to attack a federal courthouse that has been the subject of demonstrations for nearly a year. Repeating actions from over the summer, the black-clad “anti-fascists” tried to burn down the courthouse by setting fires to its facade. It was, apparently, an unsuccessful effort.
Demonstrations also turned violent in Los Angeles, according to Fox News.
“Social media videos showed police officers in riot gear near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street near the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One social media video showed a protester jumping on a police cruiser as it sped away,” the outlet said. “At least one officer was injured in the clashes, police said, according to an on-air report from KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. The officer’s condition was not reported.”
Guerilla journalist Brandon Gutenschewiger captured the scene in Seattle, where police followed the crowd on its march, watching for stragglers looking to cause issues.
Sliding door open on the moving police van (that also has a smiley face in the back window) as officers follow the crowd through downtown Seattle #Seattle #SeattleProtests #SeattlePolice pic.twitter.com/zWgTNbxIDP
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) March 14, 2021
As is typical for Seattle protests, demonstrators smashed out the window of a Starbucks.
Police arrested a total of 13 suspects related to this demonstration. A blotter post with more information will be added to this thread tomorrow morning.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) March 14, 2021
The Seattle police department also noted that it arrested just over a dozen individuals for disorderly conduct and destruction of private property.
In Louisville, Kentucky, where Taylor was killed in a police raid one year ago, protests appeared to remain peaceful and focused on a new law that could make “insulting police” in a “way that could cause a violent response” a criminal offense. The measure is being billed as “anti-riot” legislation but it is likely unconstitutional as it criminalizes a very specific type of speech, potentially in violation of the First Amendment.
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