A pitched battle broke out Thursday night between police and protesters in Portland who seemed intent on targeting an ICE office as violence in the Oregon city raged once again.
Local police said they had to repel three different attempts by protesters to try to vandalize the office. Each time, protesters threw rocks and shined lasers at officers, police said.
Officers managed to push the crowd away from the building without resorting to tear gas, but after disengaging the protesters would make another attempt.
Federal Protective Service officers had to evacuate the ICE office just after 11 p.m., and were pelted with rocks and were shot at with commercial-grade fireworks.
Finally around 2 a.m., the group dispersed.
Two years ago, rioters shut down ICE’s office for weeks by targeting employees with taunts and threats, and then blockading the building.
This year, over months of protests and riots, the federal courthouse had been a more prominent target. But Thursday’s action suggests a renewed interest in ICE.
The agency said it “will not stand by idly amidst an illegal riot targeting federal law enforcement officers and property.”
“The agency will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our officers, and will vigorously pursue prosecution against anyone who puts them in harm’s way,” ICE said in a statement.