In Portland, Oregon, police on Friday night declared as a riot a demonstration against the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, who killed two men and injured another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.
The protest of about 200 people was declared a riot after protesters started breaking windows, throwing objects at police and talked about burning down the Justice Center, KOIN TV reported.
Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell said shortly after the verdict that officers were working on plans for Friday night and the weekend, KOIN reported.
By about 8:50 p.m., about 200 protesters had gathered in downtown Portland and blocked streets. By 9 p.m.., windows were broken and doors of city facilities were damaged. Police tweeted objects were being thrown at officers in the area., KOIN reported.
Portland saw ongoing, often violent protests after the murder of George Floyd last year by police in Minneapolis. Some activists complained that the police were heavy-handed in their response.
Protests also sprang up in New York and other cities across the country Friday night in response to Rittenhouse’s acquittal, the New York Post reported , resulting in at least five arrests and some property damage in Queens, according to the NYPD.
New York police tweeted a photo of vandalized vehicles in Queens, including a car with handicap plates that had “F–k you” graffitied on the back in black spray paint.
“The NYPD takes its responsibility to protect the 1st amendment rights of peaceful demonstrators seriously,” the tweet said. “Just as important is the safety of NYers & the protection of property from people breaking the law in the name of protest. As seen tonight in Queens, they will be arrested.”
Law enforcement sources said five people were arrested for allegedly damaging cars and houses in Middle Village.
Queens Councilman Robert Holden told The Post that protestors tore through Crowley Park, and were also “jumping on cars and stealing American flags” on residential streets in Middle Village and Maspeth.
Holden raged over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s statement decrying the verdict, saying it “added gasoline to the fire.”
He said he sent the mayor a text that read: “Thousands of families minding their own business are in danger tonight because of your reckless reaction to the trial verdict.”
About 300 protesters also gathered outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where the Nets played the Orlando Magic Friday night, decrying the not-guilty verdict as a shameful racial double standard in the justice system.
Some held signs that read: “no justice in the capitalist courts” and “capitalism breeds racist terror.”