Two people injured by fireworks amid larger clash in downtown Portland, police say

Portland police say a clash downtown Saturday between opposing groups left two injured by fireworks.

Police said one group threw smoke grenades, larger fireworks and paint at the other group near Southwest Third Avenue and Main Street. The sound of “large explosions” could be heard in the area, police said.

The firework mortars injured a man in the hand and a woman complained of hearing loss, police said in a statement. Both people said they planned to seek treatment on their own and were not taken to hospital, police said.

Portland police said they are investigating the incident as possible arson. They did not identify any suspects or make any arrests, and they provided no description of the groups or why they gathered.

One of the groups gathered for a campaign rally in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Stan Pulliam, said David Kilana, who works for the campaign.

A video posted Saturday on Twitter by Pulliam, who is mayor of Sandy, appears to show a group of people dressed entirely in black, including black face coverings, and waving black flags approaching another group of people gathered downtown.

As the black-clad group approaches, a person with a megaphone is heard saying, “We’re taking back the city, we’re defunding the police, we’re not going to have crime and mayhem anymore,” to cheers from the crowd, including some carried placards reading “Stan Pulliam for Governor”.

Someone in the advancing group is then shown throwing a purple smoke-emitting object into the other crowd, prompting some people to jog or walk away.

“This is what happens when a Republican dares to host an event in Portland to talk about defunding our police,” Pulliam said in a tweet accompanying the video. “Antifa comes forward. Well, we won’t be intimidated and stop telling the truth.

Portland Police said officials responded around noon, with a sergeant monitoring the scene with only a few officers available in the compound. Once “sufficient resources” were available, according to police, they set up a crime scene.

Officers said they found the remains of paint-filled balloons that had been launched at people and cars. But the group suspected of having launched the fireworks had left the scene.

Portland Police are asking anyone with information to email [email protected]

— Catalina Gaitan

David H. Henry