The Washington Post claimed that “chaos ended” in Portland, Oregon as soon as federal agents began to leave the city on July 30, but local police declared riots happening in the city as recently as Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The first protest held since the federal agencies agreed to pull back their officers was a markedly more peaceful affair,” the Post’s Adam Taylor wrote, adding that the crowds left earlier and largely left on their own.
Trump ordered federal forces to quell Portland protests. But the chaos ended as soon as they left. https://t.co/bvBTzYQmkt
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 31, 2020
“Calm returns to Portland as federal agents withdraw,” another headline claimed.
Calm returns to Portland as federal agents withdraw https://t.co/FzAoyj3dFp
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 1, 2020
On Wednesday, local news reported that Portland police declared a riot “for the second night in a row.” Demonstrators targeted the Portland Police East Precinct, which is surrounded by residential apartments.
The Oregonian reported that some demonstrators were tearing plywood boards off of precinct windows and creating barricades in the street with dumpsters. Police also said that glass doors were cracked. A few minutes before 10 p.m., police declared the situation a riot and told the crowds that they would use tear gas if people did not leave the area. Eight people were arrested by the end of the night.
Police also declared a riot on Tuesday night after demonstrators broke into the Portland Police Association building.
Rather than update its story or issue a correction, the Post simply published another story with a similar-sounding headline that contained an important tweak. “Trump sent agents to quell unrest. But protest is what Portland does best,” the headline blared.
“More than 100 federal agents sent by President Trump to fortify the federal courthouse have retreated, turning over the task to state police. Still, the protests continue. Demonstrators say they’re not finished,” wrote the Post in an article featuring glamorizing, stylized photos of protestors.
Meanwhile, on Thursday night, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler slammed demonstrators who had instigated violence. “You are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” he said of those who attempted to set fire to a police building.
“Don’t think for a moment that you are if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are,” he continued. “You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign.”