Breonna Taylor protests: Portland police targeted with Molotov cocktails, soup cans during riot

Rioters threw at least 3 Molotov cocktails toward police during overnight civil unrest

Overnight protests in Portland devolved into riots as demonstrators started fires and threw fireworks, and even Molotov cocktails, at police officers hours after a grand jury announced its decision to indict one of three officers on charges linked to the shooting that killed Breonna Taylor — but not her death.

The demonstration began at approximately 9:45 p.m. local time, when roughly 75 people descended upon the Multnomah County Justice Center and the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct.

Portland police walk past a fire started by a Molotov cocktail thrown at police on Sept. 23, 2020 in Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Portland police walk past a fire started by a Molotov cocktail thrown at police on Sept. 23, 2020 in Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

They blocked traffic on Southwest 2nd Avenue and began throwing “softball sized rocks” at the precinct’s windows, shattering the glass, according to a summary of events provided by police.

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Demonstrators continued throwing rocks, eventually shattering the glass completely, at which point they “used slingshots to launch projectiles at a high velocity through the broken glass windows of Central Precinct,” police said. The group then allegedly tried breaking into the precinct through the front doors.

Police declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly, but the group showed no signs of letting up. They allegedly threw fireworks and glass bottles toward police and lit a side of the Justice Center on fire around 10:15 p.m., prompting officials to deem the event a riot.

The night continued to escalate further, with rioters throwing full soup cans and pointing lasers toward police officers. Videos recorded by on-the-ground reporters show someone throwing a Molotov cocktail at officers, which explodes as it lands among a crowd of police.

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Two other Molotov cocktails were hurled at cops before the end of the night, officials said. At least one officer was struck by the Molotov cocktail, being hit in the foot, before a nearby Portland Fire Medic was able to extinguish the flames.

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The riot concluded for the night at approximately 1:30 a.m., police said. Three officers suffered minor injuries over the course of the night.

Police arrested 13 people as a result of the overnight protests, all of whom were all from Oregon ranged in age from 19 to 47.

An explosive device was found in Portland hours before demonstrations began in the downtown area Wednesday night, police said. 

An explosive device was found in Portland hours before demonstrations began in the downtown area Wednesday night, police said.  (Portland Police Bureau)

"I am glad we were able to make arrests and hold people accountable for the reprehensible acts of violence," Chief Chuck Lovell said in a prepared statement released when the arrests were announced.

Hours before the demonstration, officers responded to reports of an explosive device six miles away. Members of the police Explosive Disposal Unit took the device and no one was harmed, police said.

From left to right: Cyan Waters Bass, Joseph Robert Sipe (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office

From left to right: Cyan Waters Bass, Joseph Robert Sipe (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office

Police identified the two individuals who had been charged with arson as being 21-year-old Cyan Waters Bass, who faces two counts of arson, as well as attempted assault, criminal mischief and possession of a destructive device; and Joseph Robert Sipe, 23, who was charged with a single count of arson and attempted murder, attempted assault and possession of a destructive device.

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Civil unrest was reported in several other parts of the nation in the wake of news that a grand jury had returned indictments on only one of the three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Taylor, an emergency medical worker who was fatally wounded on March 13.

Officials have said police officers entered her home with a warrant as part of a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found inside and the warrant was for a suspect who didn’t live at the address. None of the officers involved were charged with murder.

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Demonstrations were also reported in other cities, such as Louisville, where Taylor was fatally shot, Denver and New York City, among others.

Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.