PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland’s sixth night of protests started and ended peacefully as thousands took to the streets in response to disturbing video showing a former Minneapolis police officer, who is white, kneeling on a black man’s neck for several minutes as he cried out for air before he finally stopped moving.
George Floyd’s death sparked nightly protests in Portland, some of which have turned violent. But despite Wednesday’s protests drawing the largest crowds yet, the day remained focused on the intended cause without any breakdowns.
Thousands of people gathered in Southeast Portland near Revolution Hall at 6 p.m. to listen to protest organizers explain their plans for the evening. They marched west and across the Morrison Bridge where the entire crowd stopped to kneel and raise hands.
They moved down Naito Parkway to Waterfront Park and listened to speeches until about 9 p.m. when speakers abruptly stopped and the gathering splintered into smaller groups. Some moved out of the area while others — thousands — made their way to the police barrier around the Justice Center in downtown Portland.
Police officers waiting on the other side of the fence were not dressed in riot gear. Many engaged in calm conversations with peaceful protesters. The tone remained largely positive and many chanted “peaceful protest” as the night wore on.
A dumpster fire broke out a few blocks away but was quickly extinguished by firefighters. Police urged people over social media and loud speaker to remain peaceful, saying they support their First Amendment rights. Officers also said their were children in the crowd.
By midnight, the group had thinned down to hundreds of people. Police continued to ask people to stay peaceful. A few objects were thrown toward officers, some chanted slurs directed at police but officers remained unprovoked.
A small number of agitators remained downtown into the early hours of Wednesday morning after peaceful protesters had left.
Another peaceful protest is scheduled to start again at 6 p.m. Thursday near Revolution Hall at SE 13th and Stark.
KOIN 6 News will be there.
Below is a timeline as protests in and around Portland unfold Wednesday, June 3, 2020:
The majority of the agitators left downtown by 4 a.m. The PPB towed two cars and made arrests, although it is not clear how many.
Police say agitators were throwing projectiles at officers, started lighting fires and vandalizing buildings. During this, PPB says one officer was hit in the head and another officer was hit in the jaw with a full beer can.
A civil disturbance was declared shortly before 3 a.m. and people were warned to leave the vicinity.
Police say all peaceful protesters dispersed by 2 a.m. while some agitators remained near SW 3rd Avenue and Jefferson Street.
Police announce over loud speaker that some people are “building a structure in Chapman Square that could be used to throw projectiles.” Officers ask those people to stop immediately, reminding them there are children in the crowd.
There are still thousands of people near the police barrier but the gathering has stayed mostly peaceful. Police again ask protesters to remain peaceful, specifically calling on “those handing out fireworks” and asking “people to stop throwing projectiles at officers” — reminding them children are present in the crowd. Officers thank those in the crowd who are helping to keep the assembly peaceful.
Many officers are having peaceful conversations with protesters through the barrier fence surrounding the Justice Center.
Firefighters are at the scene of a dumpster fire at SW 4th and Oak. It’s unclear how the fire started or if it’s related to the protests.
The crowd outside the Justice Center has grown to several thousand, police say. Children are among those gathered and officers are asking people to remain peaceful. Officers announce over loudspeaker they have no intention of engaging the crowd and encourage all to exercise their First Amendment rights.
Portland police say the march headed northbound on Naito Parkway is still peaceful but “criminal activity” is happening with the second group on SW 3rd between Main and Jefferson. Officers say they are warning them not to tamper with the fence around the Justice Center and to not shine lasers at officers.
Protesters are chanting “No justice! No peace! No racist police.”
Speeches have abruptly ended at the peaceful gathering at Waterfront Park. Smaller groups have broken off and are wandering around the downtown area.
Police say one group is marching northbound on Naito while the other is westbound at 3rd and Jefferson.
Some protesters have made their way to the perimeter fence surrounding the Justice Center. Officers are standing on the inside of the fence as protesters chant.
A large crowd of protesters is filling the south end of Tom McCall Waterfront Park and listening to speeches. Police say a second, smaller group is also in Pioneer Courthouse Square and both demonstrations remain peaceful. Officers thanked the groups for gathering peacefully.
The large group has nearly finished crossing the Morrison Bridge. People are chanting “Whose streets? Our streets” and the names of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. There are many families with children in the crowd.
Portland police say the peaceful march is heading southbound on Naito Parkway but traffic is still disrupted on the Morrison Bridge.
KOIN 6 News spoke with protester Joy Kanu who said she marches because she “can’t afford not to.”
The massive crowd marching over the Morrison Bridge stopped to kneel with their hands in the air. They have resumed marching on to the waterfront area, chanting “no justice, no peace.”
At least 2,000 people are marching west toward the Morrison Bridge.
The crowd of demonstrators in Southeast Portland is mobilizing. They plan to march along SE Stark Street to SE 7th Avenue, then 7th to SE Morrison Street and across the Morrison Bridge onto SW Naito Parkway, then on to Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
A massive crowd is moving into the green space around Revolution Hall in Southeast Portland. A speaker says they’re going to “disrupt the city” and do it peacefully.
Members of PPB and Portland Fire & Rescue who are on the ground in Portland are holding a press conference to talk about their unique perspectives and the strategies they use during demonstrations.
A few dozen people have gathered in the Revolution Hall area of Southeast Portland ahead of a Black Lives Matter march. Some people are giving speeches as people continue to arrive.
Reports indicate a peaceful protest will start at 6 p.m. near Revolution Hall in the area of SE 13th and Stark. Protesters will then march to the Portland Waterfront area, likely by way of the Burnside Bridge.
Thousands of people marched over the Burnside Bridge on Tuesday night. The crowd stopped to lie face-down on the pavement and observed nine minutes of silence in remembrance of George Floyd.
Some people are gathering near the Justice Center.
The Portland Police Bureau significantly reduces the size of the blocked-off zone in downtown Portland surrounding the Multnomah County Justice Center. The barrier previously stretched from SW Jefferson to SW Taylor and SW 5th to SW 1st.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announces that he will again not be enforcing a city curfew for Wednesday night while he and other city leaders discussed previous night’s protests.