mortar explorion portland riot
© Portland Police Bureau
Mortar explosion at federal courthouse in downtown Portland.
Portland police declared a riot early Friday during unrest near the federal courthouse in the city and demanded protesters leave the area or face crowd-control munitions.

Police described a chaotic scene. They said several protesters were "starting fires, throwing rocks at officers, pointing lasers at officers, and launching projectiles with slingshots at officers."

Andy Ngo, the journalist, posted a video of the unrest near the federal courthouse that he said showed U.S. military protecting the building that was under attack.

"They rushed out and made an arrest here," he posted. "Antifa have been trying to set the building on fire for hours."

He said police in the downtown area were "under attack" for hours. When police officers attempt to respond, they "go on social media tagging politicians & lawyers claiming police brutality."

On Wednesday night, anarchists in the city set a 120-year-old elk statue on fire that had been the target before, according to Oregon Live.

Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement, "Engaging in criminal activity including vandalism and property damage is not peaceful demonstration. We ask for the public's help in identifying and sharing information about those responsible so they can be held accountable."