Portland protests disperse after confrontation with cops, 26 arrested

What started as a peaceful anti-Trump protest turned destructive when anarchists joined the nearly 4000-person march, smashing windows and defacing property in across Portland. (SBG photo by Tristan Fortsch)

Police in riot gear used rubber bullets and flash bangs in an attempt to clear dozens of protesters from downtown Portland early Friday morning. By the end of the day, at least 26 people had been arrested.

The protests first began peacefully early Thursday evening at Pioneer Courthouse Square, but turned violent around 9 p.m. as some anarchists broke off from the original protest, broke windows at a car dealership and then went to the Pearl District, where they broke windows of several businesses. At least three people were taken into custody around the North Park Blocks.

READ MORE: Oregon is epicenter as Trump protests surge across nation

Protesters who wanted to remain peaceful were invited to return to Pioneer Courthouse Square around 11 p.m. but it appears as though some individuals threw projectiles at police, and tensions escalated. Officers in riot gear then instructed protesters to disperse. Some appeared to ignore those directions and police utilized "less lethal munitions" to break up the protests and make arrests. At least one person appeared to be injured.

WATCH | KATU's live stream coverage of the protests:

A smaller group of protesters incited police at SW Salmon and 6th Avenue, where they threw glass and trash cans at officers, and even lit things on fire.

Officers used rubber bullets and flash bangs in an effort to clear them, to no avail. More arrests were made in this area, but there's no word on what charges those people are facing.

Just before 1 a.m. police in riot gear were still advancing on the protesters in a last-ditch effort to clear the streets and parks.

"All persons must leave this area immediately... this is an unlawful gathering... you are subject to arrest," a police officer said over a megaphone as protesters banged on trashcans.

A crowd then moved to Lownsdale Park near the Justice Center, where the protests appear to die down significantly. Many of the police in riot gear also left, following at least three arrests. The protests had mostly wrapped up by 2 a.m.

READ MORE: Anarchist rioters shatter windows in Portland following once-peaceful protest

KATU reporter Catherine Van was hit by a rubber bullet during this protest. She was not injured.

Earlier in the evening things turned violent when one man started smashing a utility box along the street near 10th and Everett. One woman tried to stop him and was swarmed by protesters.

A producer was on scene and captured the incident on video. (Watch below)

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