The attack came after a security alert in the Stewarts Terrace area of Rosemount.
Derry City and Strabane Superintendent William Calderwood said: "Shortly after 12.30pm this afternoon, Friday 8 September, officers from the Terrorism Investigation Unit conducted a search of a house in the area.
"During the search a number of items were located, resulting in a public safety operation being put in place, which involved a number of residents being evacuated from their homes.
"The items have now been seized and will be subject to rigorous forensic examination in the coming days and weeks.
"A large group of people gathered in the area from around 6pm and threw a number of items at officers, including petrol bombs and masonry. Thankfully, there have been no reports of any officers injured.”
Just after 10pm police said they had left the area and residents who had been evacuated from their homes had been allowed to return.
Police said their investigation remains ongoing and they continue to appeal to anyone who has any information that may assist to call them on 101 or through Crimestoppers.
"Yet again, our officers had to deal with extremely challenging circumstances, coming under attack by large groups of people,” Supt Calderwood said. “This is reckless and criminal behaviour, and it has to stop. It is absolutely appalling and achieves nothing except harm to our community.”