Riots in Portland, Oregon

America is swept by anti-racism protests all over the country. And the reason why was the shocking case of extreme police brutality that ended in the death of George Floyd, a black person, as the entire incident was caught live on camera.

In recent events regarding the process, the police department in Portland, Oregon, has issued a statement that the gathering that went on in front of the federal courthouse will be considered a riot. The reasoning behind this statement was the fact that there were fireworks during the protest – and fires were being set by the protestors.

The problem here is that the protests all over America tend to escalate in violence, larceny, and arson. This led to repeated clashes between the protestors and the Portland police force – as the protestors tended to target the federal courthouse in Portland.

The official statement of the Oregon police department was: “We know there are people in the crowd who do not want violence or vandalism to occur but know there are some people in this crowd who are engaged in criminal activity” – and they added that “To those outside of The Justice Center, this gathering has been declared a riot.”

The main difference between a peaceful protest and a riot, in America, is the fact that in the case of a riot the police can enforce the dispersing of the rioters with the use of appropriate force, including tear gas and other agents for crowd control, as well as making arrests and issuing citations. Portland police asked the protestors/rioters to disperse immediately or else be subject to the aforementioned use of force.

“Attacking” the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon is not a new thing. Protestors have gathered with fireworks and other paraphernalia to attack this building in the recent past. There were protestors that have come in front of the building in a more peaceful manner – speaking out against American racism and about the problems that the American minorities face when it comes to rampant racism.

The protests and the message that protestors try to convey, speaking out against racism, has garnered widespread support all over the world. This makes it somewhat difficult for police officers to intervene in many instances when it would be completely justifiable to do so, since public opinion swung against police after the May 25 police brutality event. William Barr – the US attorney general – was reprimanded by the Democratic lawmakers because of that same reason – sending out officers to clear out the Portland protestors.

And the incident that created waves of shock, protesting, and even rioting in certain instances in America, was the aforementioned death of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin. Officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on top of George Floyd’s neck as he was lying on his stomach helpless and not offering any real resistance for his arrest. After continuous pleas to let him go, George Floyd eventually passed out in front of onlookers and was taken to ER where he passed away.