As protests in Portland, Oregon have continued for 61 consecutive days, over the weekend, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter demonstrators, a number of protests broke out and turned violent across the nation.
In Portland, Oregon, police declared a riot as protesters had gas masks, shields, leaf blowers, power tools, fireworks and lasers.
In Louisville, Kentucky, 76 people were arrested for assault and disorderly conduct. A group of black armed protesters calling itself the “Not F**king Around Coalition” (NAFC), use their constitutional right to is simple and bear arms. The demonstrations were largely peaceful, police said, CNN reported.
However, after a firearm discharged, three NAFC members were struck by gunfire and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
In Austin, Texas, according to reports, 28-year-old Garrett Foster, was armed with an AK-47 and was shot and killed after allegedly approached a car that was attempting to get out of the area. As the motorist turned, protesters surrounded the vehicle and some struck the car.
“Minutes after the shooting, the driver called 911 and said he had been involved in a shooting and had driven away from the scene,” Austin police Chief Manley said. “The caller told dispatchers he had shot someone who had approached the driver’s window and pointed a rifle at him.”
“According to police, gunshots were fired from inside the vehicle at Foster. They said during the initial investigation, it appears Foster may have pointed his weapon at the driver of the vehicle prior to being shot,” CBS reported.
In Aurora, Colorado, a protester fired a weapon and struck at least 1 other protester, police said. One group of protesters did “major damage” to a courthouse.
Police were forced to declare an “unlawful assembly” as protesters were throwing projectiles, shining lasers and shooting fireworks at officers, as well as breaking windows to a courthouse and starting a fire there, The Hill reported.
A Jeep was driven through the crowd and multiple shots were fired by a protester at the vehicle. Two people inside the Jeep were struck and taken to local hospitals. Police said it was unclear if a single protester or multiple persons fired shots, Daily Wire reported.
“During preliminary interviews with the Jeep driver, he advised officers that while on I-225, his vehicle began to be surrounded by protesters who were yelling and striking his vehicle,” police said. “He also claims that a white pickup truck struck the front of his vehicle. He claims that the reason that he drove towards the protesters is because he was scared and trying to get away.”
In Richmond, Virginia, firefighters responded to several arson fires but were subject to the same attacks as police officials, being pummeled with bricks, batteries and rocks. While officers tried to protect themselves with shields, firefighters don’t have the same protective equipment nor the training on how to respond to violent riots.
Firefighters managed to put out a dump truck fire that fire officials say could have turned into a mass casualty incident if it’s gas tanks had exploded.
Peaceful protests escalated into violence in other cities across the US over the weekend.
In Seattle, Washington, 47 people were arrested after throwing rocks, bottles, fireworks and other explosives that left 59 officers were injured.
In Oakland, California, demonstrators threw projectiles and pointed “illegal” lasers at officers, leading police to disperse the crowd.