PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — About two dozen people gathered in Dawson Park early Saturday evening in a continuation of the protest that saw hundreds march through the streets of Portland over the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.

A portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)

Protesters in Portland and around the country are pushing back against police brutality. Nichols, 29, was beaten by 5 Memphis officers following a traffic stop and died 3 days later. The officers were fired, arrested and charged with murder.

On Saturday, two Tennessee county deputies were “relieved of duty” over their roles in Nichols’ beating. The investigation into their actions is now underway.

The organizers of the Dawson Park rally told KOIN 6 News they hope this event will honor the Nichols’ family request for peaceful demonstrations and send a clear message to police.

“They care more about broken windows and burning trash cans than they do about the lives of Black, Brown, and poor working people in this country,” said Mariah Denman with the Party for Socialism & Liberation. “So when we say ‘police terror’, that is exactly what we mean.”

Mariah Denman with the Party for Socialism & Liberation in Portland, January 28, 2023 (KOIN)
Mariah Denman with the Party for Socialism & Liberation in Portland, January 28, 2023 (KOIN)

Denman said she chose not to watch the now-released video of Nichols’ beating because, she said, she is tired of seeing people die at the hands of police.

“Think about those videos we’ve all seen as police put their knees on the necks of innocent people,” Denman said.

Around the same time Memphis officials released the video of the beating, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was joined by the City Council, PPB Chief Chuck Lovell and other civic leaders to denounce the actions of those Memphis officers.

“The actions in Memphis do not reflect the values or the training of our public safety partners here in Portland. In fact, they’re exactly the opposite of our expectations for those who are entrusted with keeping us safe,” Wheeler said Friday.

But Denman, who told KOIN 6 News she witnessed police brutality against protesters in Portland during the 2020 riots, firmly disagrees.

“To be shot with rubber bullets and pepper balls by Portland police with the sanctioning of Ted Wheeler, who is the police commissioner, that is ridiculous,” she said. “It is ridiculous to assert that the Portland Police Bureau is any different.”

Friday’s demonstration in Portland was peaceful, as were most across the US.

“Most demonstrations are nonviolent and nondestructive,” PPB Sgt. Kevin Allen told KOIN 6 News. But he added the bureau has “contingency plans” if anything criminal takes place.

Earlier Saturday, KOIN 6 News monitored a rally at Irving Park in Northeast Portland. The small group, with some people openly carrying weapons, was uneventful.