PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Police say due to extensive criminal and dangerous behavior, a protest against President-elect Donald Trump is now considered a riot.
Police said on Twitter Thursday night they were taking increasing reports of vandalism and aggressive behavior. Multiple news outlets were posting videos of people in heated arguments. One video showed an altercation after a woman threw laundry detergent at protesters.
Police were advising people to discontinue the use of illegal fire devices and said multiple people with bats were reported in the crowd.
Police say people not wanting to be associated with protesters should leave the area.
Oregon Department of Transportation officials have closed freeways in the area intermittently as a precaution.
Officials say demonstrators earlier had shut down area freeways.
Hundreds showed up to Pioneer Courthouse Square in the downtown area Thursday evening.
Oregon Department of Transportation officials said portions of Interstate 5 and Interstate 84 were closed after protesters began marching. Officials urged travelers to use caution and watch for people in unexpected places on roads.
Portland Police tweeted to those stuck in traffic near demonstrations to stay in their vehicles, remain calm and refrain from engaging people as they pass by.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said earlier in the day he supports the peaceful protest of people exercising their Constitutional rights, but cautioned that walking on to freeways and blocking light rail lines is dangerous for everyone involved.