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Late night protest in Portland, Oregon, declared unlawful

Law enforcement declared an unlawful assembly late Saturday, forcing protesters from downtown Portland, Oregon, and making several arrests, just hours after demonstrations earlier in the day ended without many reports of violence.

Hundreds of people were gathered downtown in Oregon's largest city when the unlawful assembly was announced just before midnight by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

Images showed protesters crowded in and around a park near the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse — the same courthouse that had been the scene of nightly unrest over the summer. A protester was seen burning an American flag.

Portland Police line up blocking the street while protesters rally in front of them at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

Earlier, protesters had shot fireworks at police. Video posted by KOIN-TV showed officers warn that protesters who hurl projectiles will be subject to arrest.

Several arrests were made, according to reporters at the scene, but a specific number was not immediately available.

The unrest came just hours after a right-wing rally and counterprotesters largely dispersed without serious violence. Although, police were investigating an assault after one person who was documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the face.

A protester wearing an upside down American flag is arrested while rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. The rally came as Portland has seen nearly nightly protests since the police killing of George Floyd in late May. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

Separately, police said a criminal citation was issued after officials confiscated firearms, paintball guns, baseball bats and shields from a pick-up truck that was initially stopped for having obscured license plates as it left the rally.

Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton and Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese praised the minimal violence in a joint statement late Saturday.

“Our Unified Command worked well to prevent violence before it started," Hampton said in the statement. “Law enforcement officers performed a number of traffic stops and took weapons off the streets.”

A Portland Police officer stands watching while proesters rally at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

“On Saturday, Oregonians denounced hate, racism and violence," Reese stated, adding that, “the Unified Command was able to help keep the peace.”

Several hundred people, dozens of them wearing militarized body armor, gathered to support President Donald Trump and his “law and order” reelection campaign Saturday afternoon. The attendance was far fewer than the 10,000 organizers had expected after tensions boiled over nationwide following the decision not to charge officers in Louisville, Kentucky, for killing Breonna Taylor.

Organized by the Proud Boys, a group that has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the rally was described as a free speech event to support Trump and police and condemn anti-fascists and “violent gangs of rioting felons” in the streets.

A Portland Police officer watches protesters rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

Local and state elected officials condemned the event and rushed to shore up law enforcement ranks as left-wing groups organized several rallies to oppose the Proud Boys’ message. About 1,000 counter-protesters gathered at another park.

The events began at noon and were largely dispersed by 3 p.m.

The rally came as Portland has seen nearly nightly protests since the police killing of George Floyd in late May.

A protester is arrested by Portland Police while rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

A female protester is loaded into a van after being arrested while rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. The rally came as Portland has seen nearly nightly protests since the police killing of George Floyd in late May. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

Portland police detain a man during protests, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland. The protests, which began over the killing of George Floyd, often result frequent clashes between protesters and law enforcement. (AP PhotoJohn Locher)

Portland police stand in a street during protests, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland. The protests which began since the police killing of George Floyd in late May often result frequent clashes between protesters and law enforcement. (AP PhotoJohn Locher)

A protestor reacts towards a Portland police officer during protests, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland. The protests which began since the police killing of George Floyd in late May often result frequent clashes between protesters and law enforcement. (AP PhotoJohn Locher)

Portland police run through a park during protests, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland. The protests which began since the police killing of George Floyd in late May often result frequent clashes between protesters and law enforcement. (AP PhotoJohn Locher)

Portland Police line up to block from the street from protesters rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

Portland Police line around a van and drive away from protesters rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

A woman looks out her window while protesters and police clash near the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

A protester holds a sign while rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

Members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators rally, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

A right-wing demonstrator, right, gestures toward a counter protester as members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators rally on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore.About 200 people gathered in Portland, for a right-wing rally, dozens of them wearing militarized body armor. It was far fewer than the thousands expected to appear. (AP PhotoJohn Locher)

A person holds a weapon and a flag as members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators rally on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

A woman does the Pledge of Allegiance as members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators rally on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

Members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators kneel in prayer at a rally on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoJohn Locher)

Women cheer as members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators rally on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoAllison Dinner)

A member of the Proud Boys, right, tries to get a counter protester to leave a rally by members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoJohn Locher)

Members of the Proud Boys cheer on stage as they and other right-wing demonstrators rally, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP PhotoJohn Locher)