Peaceful protests around the country against police misconduct and racism turned violent after dark on Saturday (July 25) as demonstrators clashed with law enforcement.
In Portland, Oregon, which has been the scene of nearly 60 consecutive days of protests, a group of rioters tore down a reinforced fence surrounding the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse. Demonstrators launched fireworks at the building and threw bottles and rocks at the federal officers charged with protecting it.
Officers responded with tear gas and other non-lethal munitions. They made several arrests, and the crowd was dispersed by 2:30 a.m.
In Seattle, officials declared a riot as thousands of people marched through the city, setting fires and vandalizing property. The rioters lit several construction trailers on fire near a youth detention center, while others set a Starbucks on fire. The Starbucks was below a residential building, and people were advised to evacuate.
After law enforcement officials declared a riot, officers stormed the crowd using flash bangs and tear gas. They arrested at least 45 people as they brought the situation under control.
The situation turned tense in Aurora, Colorado, after a car drove through a group of people marching on Interstate 225. One person was injured and was taken to the hospital where they are in stable condition. Another woman was injured after she fell nearly 20 feet while trying to avoid the vehicle. Police said that one person in the crowd opened fire, injuring another protester. They believe the gunman may have been trying to shoot the driver of the vehicle. The driver was not arrested, but his Jeep was impounded. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
Later in the evening, the protesters made their way to the Aurora municipal center. They broke into the building and tried to start fires inside. The police ordered the demonstrators to leave. The group eventually left, and the police said nobody was arrested.
In Virginia, police used tear gas and non-lethal munitions to disperse hundreds of people who were vandalizing businesses in downtown Richmond. Officials said the rioters caused over $100,000 worth of damage to the area, including the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Police arrested six people before the crowd dissipated.
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