Protesters were caught on camera removing an American flag and setting it on fire before replacing it with a board that had Black Lives Matter written on it.
The incident occurred during a protest allegedly guided by Rose City Justice in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday night.
As hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center to protest police brutality and racial injustice, tensions began to rise and the group eventually pulled down the flag that was swaying in front of the Justice Center.
After the protesters set the American flag on fire, some people were heard chanting “no KKK” and “no fascist USA” while the flag was burning.
Later that night, the demonstrators brought and hoisted a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign on the flagpole that was left bare after the burning of the flag.
According to the reports, similar incidents involving arson had been reported around the city during the last week, whereas rioters managed to set the Portland Police North Precinct on fire on Friday.
During Saturday protests, a large group had also gathered at Southwest 3 Avenue where “they formed a human chain” and blocked the road using fencing and plastic barriers according to the police. In addition, the group was allegedly being encouraged to resist with violence as the police arrived at the scene.
As the authorities arrived at the barrier, they reportedly used what is believed to be rubber riot control munitions to break up the crowd and secure the barricade that the protesters had brought up.
“Officers responded to the intersection and made efforts to move the crowd away from the barricades so they could be cleared and the street could re-open,” Portland Police Bureau wrote in a statement.
“During this engagement, officers had rocks, glass bottles, and paint thrown at them. Lasers and lights were directed at the officer’s eyes. Crowd control munitions were used during this interaction, but not CS gas.”
After the confrontation, the police have also shared pictures of the violent graffiti left behind by the mob. “Kill the police,” one graffiti read, while another one, sprayed on the street, read: “Blow up the embassy.”
According to the reports, eight people were arrested at the time of the Saturday protest.
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