PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been two years since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, and with that, two years since widespread demonstrations in Portland followed.
Local group Revolution Rising held a rally in downtown Portland on Wednesday at Pioneer Courthouse Square in remembrance of Floyd. The rally continued down Yamhill St. later in the evening.
Multiple buildings were spray painted along the route as an ode to Floyd. Marchers were starting to go around the federal courthouse and justice center, but were blocked in a city bus.
A group of people wearing all black with face coverings blocked 3rd Ave. near the Federal Courthouse, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “no justice, no peace.”
In the wake of Floyd’s death, protests spurred across the country for racial and social justice and against police brutality. However, some locals involved in those early movements say not enough has changed.
“Those things that happened before George Floyd died, when he died, and since he died, are still happening,” said Teressa Raiford, founder of Don’t Shoot Portland. “We still have those same inequities, we still have the police brutality, police violence, the lack of investigation in communities of color, the lack of response when we feel like we are not safe.”
Floyd’s death also ignited months of protests in Portland, both peaceful rallies and more violent riots. Raiford says it’s important to recognize the difference between vandalism and the value of someone’s life.
“The fact they can still equate monetary value of a building that might (have) words on it, with the death of someone’s child, they need to look at themselves and not us,” said Raiford.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell also spoke out in response to two years since Floyd’s death and subsequent rallies. In a statement, PPB said they join the community in mourning.
“We are grateful to the many positive voices who are working to bring about lasting and meaningful change,” said Chief Lovell. “We are committed to continuing that work with our valued community partners and those who want to engage with PPB to continue to build relationships and trust through community engagement.”
Raiford added that while the movement has spurred equity and inclusion, the work is only just beginning.
“I hope if people are looking for answers, they’ll start working within the communities that have been sharing these answers forever,” said Raiford.