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Riot declared in Portland, Oregon amid United States-wide demonstrations against police violence

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Protesters light a portable bathroom on fire during demonstrations in downtown Portland, Oregon on Friday night
Protesters light a portable bathroom on fire during demonstrations in downtown Portland, Oregon on Friday night   -   Copyright  Dave Killen/AP
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Police arrested four people in Portland, Oregon after declaring a riot on Friday night after the fatal shooting of a man in Portland on Friday, amid ongoing protests over police violence across the United States.

Demonstrations had erupted in several US cities earlier in the week in the wake of the killings of Daunte Wright, a black 20-year-old shot by police after being pulled over in Minnesota, and an unarmed 13-year-old boy, Adam Toledo, in Chicago.

On Friday Portland deputy police chief Chris Davis confirmed that during the protests, police had also shot and killed a white man in his 30s in a residential neighbourhood of the city, while responding to reports of a man with a gun.

Mark Graves/The Oregonian via AP
Police at the scene of the fatal shooting in Portland on Friday afternoonMark Graves/The Oregonian via AP

An officer who fired a gun in the incident has been placed on paid administrative leave. Davis did not know if the man who died had pointed a weapon at the officers and did not say how many shots were fired.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Friday a crowd of more than 150 people gathered behind the crime scene tape, chanting and shouting at the officers. According to AP, many were dressed all in black and some carried helmets, goggles and gas masks.

The crowd later marched through the area, ripping down police tape and standing face to face with officers in riot gear. A riot was declared after some protesters also smashed windows, burglarized businesses and set multiple fires.

Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP
Demonstrators march towards the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland on Friday nightDave Killen/The Oregonian via AP

Police said they had used pepper spray on protesters in order to keep them away. Officers also deployed smoke canisters in an attempt to disperse the crowds. There were no reports of injuries to police.

Portland has been the site of frequent protests, many involving violent clashes between police officers and demonstrators, since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Last summer, demonstrations took place for more than 100 days in a row.

Earlier this week, a crowd also lit a fire outside the city's police union headquarters following the recent fatal police shootings in Chicago and Minneapolis.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has decried what he described as a segment of “violent agitators” who detract from the message of police accountability.

He visited the Friday shooting scene and issued a statement urging Portland residents to “proceed with empathy and peace” while the investigation unfolds.

Protest in California turns violent as protesters clash with police

A protest that began peacefully in California on Friday night also ended with multiple fires lit, several cars damaged and windows shattered.

The protest against police brutality in Oakland began calmly but a subsequent march drew around 300 people. People in the crowd threw bottles and other objects at officers during the march, injuring one officer, Oakland police said in a statement.

The statement also said protesters that dragged barriers into the road to block and delay responding officers. Authorities declared an unlawful assembly the protesters later dispersed peacefully. There were no arrests reported.