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Rioters in Portland firebomb police on New Year's Eve

City dominated by violent protests and rioting for much of 2020 ends year with another wave.

Published: January 1, 2021 9:23am

Updated: January 1, 2021 9:48am

The violence and rioting that plagued Portland, Ore., for much of 2020 burst into the new year as rioters firebombed and launched projectiles at police Thursday night and a double shooting was reported.

Police officially declared the activity rioting in an effort to clear the downtown neighborhood where Molotov cocktails were used and several business damaged. Officers were diverted from other emergency calls to try to quell the violence.

"A gathering in downtown Portland has devolved into a riot. Participants have thrown multiple firebombs at officers and launched commercial grade fireworks at the Federal Courthouse and Justice Center," the police said in a tweet shortly before midnight local time.

"The violence from the crowd has prompted a declaration of a riot. All persons in the area of Southwest 3rd Avenue around Southwest Main Street are ordered to leave to the south and west immediately," the police added.

Police said multiple officers were struck with projectiles, injuring some, and the crowd final dispersed around 245 a.m. PST.

"Portland Police officers citywide had to be pulled from answering emergency calls to respond. Law Enforcement officers from the Federal Protective Services and the Multnomah County Sheriff's office also engaged the crowd and were targeted with dangerous projectiles. Officers were attacked with large rocks, full size bricks, and frozen water bottles. Some officers were targeted by paint balloons that may have been laced with a caustic substance as it caused burning to the skin," the police said in a press release.

Shortly before the rioting, two persons were reported shot in a neighborhood on the North Side of the city. "North Precinct officers were dispatched to a report of someone shot at Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast Mallory Avenue. Officers arrived and located two people injured. The severity of their injuries is not being released at this time," police said.

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