Vandals toppled a statue of George Washington in Portland on Thursday, local media outlets reported.
According to KATU2, between 30 and 40 people were at the scene at the German American Society in Northeast Portland on the night of June 18, when the statue was torn down.
Some of the individuals wrapped the head of the statue in an American flag and lit the flag on fire, according to CBS Portland affiliate KOIN-TV. They dispersed shortly after the statue was pulled down.
A video shared by the account @hungrybowtie, which captioned the footage, “They did it. They really did it. Sucks to be George Washington right now…,” showed the moment the statue fell off its plinth and hit the ground, while excited shrieks could be heard from the crowd.
Independent reporter Andy Ngo shared footage of the burning flag while the statue was still standing, captioning the post, “Antifa rioters on Sandy Blvd. in Portland draped a US flag over a George Washington statue & set it on fire. They then toppled the statue. “Genocidal colonist” & “f— cops” are sprayed on monument.”
“Rioters have began to build another autonomous zone nearby,” Ngo added, making reference to Seattles so-called “autonomous zone,” from which there have been reports of armed individuals manning checkpoints, checking IDs, even shaking down local businesses.
Another American flag was seen burning over the statue as it lay on the ground, according to video footage shared by the same account @hungrybowtie, which captioned the footage, “Another flag burning, this time on George Washingtons back.”
Photos of the toppled statue showed the words “Big Floyd” spray-painted on the concrete plinth, in reference to the death of George Floyd, who on May 25 was filmed pleading with a Minneapolis police officer who was kneeling on his neck. Police were responding to a 911 call which claimed Floyd was behaving erratically and had tried to pay for something with a counterfeit $20-dollar bill.
The police officer filmed kneeling on Floyds neck, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder. He was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and still faces those charges.
Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Keung, and Tou Thao, three other Minneapolis Police Department officers involved in the incident, have each been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
The charges brought against the officers have done little to abate the wave of protests following Floyds death, some of which have become violent and degenerated into episodes of looting, vandalism, and arson.
Ngo, in another post, shared a Twitter message from PNW Youth Liberation Front, a group that, according to Oregonlive, has been at the center of recent protests in Portland. The message from PNW Youth Liberation Front, which describes itself on Twitter as a “decentralized network of autonomous youth collectives dedicated to direct action towards total liberation,” stated “George Washington torn down, his face in the ground.”
In the caption commenting on the PNW Youth Liberation Front tweet, Ngo wrote: “This is what one of the antifa groups who organized the criminal gathering said. AdditionallyRead More From Source