Peaceful Demonstration Turns Violent In Portland

Photo: KATU

The largest demonstration so far in the protests over the death of George Floyd occurred Sunday afternoon at Laurelhurst Park in Portland.

Police estimate around 6,000 people peacefully marched from the park to the Justice Center in downtown Portland.

When they arrived, there was a moment when the crowd and several officers took a knee to show support.

The crowd wanted to meet with Police Chief Jami Resch. Leaders were selected and met with Resch. She describes it as a positive meeting. The group said they weren't being heard and needed to find a way to meet with the police in the future. Resch said their ideas were good and she hopes to meet with them in the future.

During the meeting, people in the crowd started throwing large fireworks at police and throwing objects at officers.

Police used a loudspeaker to tell the crowd they needed to disperse. They were given several warnings before crowd control devices were used and the crowd broke up.

Smaller groups went through the city causing damage to several businesses.

Throughout the event, 12 adults were arrested and 2 juveniles were detained. The adults were arrested.

"It has been a long, difficult and emotional several days in Portland and across the country and we understand why," said Chief Jami Resch. "Yesterday's events started peacefully and there was a very organic moment when some of our Sergeants and demonstrators took a knee together next to the Justice Center. I am proud of this moment, as it reflects community and understanding.

I had the opportunity to meet with several demonstration leaders and heard what they had to say. We agreed that the majority of demonstrators AND the police want a peaceful protest and are frustrated by those who are engaging in violence and destruction because it is not helpful for change efforts. We discussed the desire to meet again to discuss new ways that they can engage with PPB and how we can engage with them in a more productive manner. The leaders were respectful and thoughtful and had good ideas. I am hopeful that we can meet again to have further conversations and I am appreciative that they were willing to speak with me.

Unfortunately, while we were meeting, some individuals started to engage in violent acts towards Officers, which continued despite warnings to disperse. Officers deployed riot control agents to disperse the crowd for the safety of all.

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