PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Demonstrators took to Portland streets once again Thursday night, this time to honor the memory of Patrick Kimmons.
About 80 people gathered for the march which started at Revolution Hall and was organized by those seeking “Justice for Patrick Kimmons.” Kimmons, who would have turned 30 on Thursday, was shot to death by police in September 2018 after police said he was involved in another shooting early that Sunday morning.
Kimmons’ family, including his mother Letha Winston, have long questioned the evidence despite a grand jury concluding that the two involved officers fired in self defense. Winston believes her son was running away when he was shot and killed.
“Today is the day that we march, march for justice and what I mean by justice is we want justice for him and all others that have been murdered around the United States of America,” said Winston. “We don’t just want justice, we also want to stop the hate crime in the street. We want to change the gang-related people and have them join us, marching for Black Lives Matter and march against PPB. Make them be held accountable for their actions, for over-shooting or over-killing people.”
A second event was advertised to take place in Portland later Thursday night. A group called for an “autonomous demonstration” to begin at Fields Park in the Pearl District as a celebration since “RRT resigned.” They asked anyone planning to attend to “wear black, be water” and not to stream. Their stated goal is to “Abolish Portland Police.”
Similar events in the past have commonly turned violent and destructive.
Between 20 and 30 people marched through the Pearl District streets starting around 10:30 p.m. KOIN 6 witnessed a confrontation between business owners, residents and demonstrators outside The Fields Bar & Grill.
Thursday’s events come one day after PPB officers resigned from the Rapid Response Team after a member was indicted for an incident during a riot in August 2020.
In a Thursday afternoon statement, Mayor Ted Wheeler said he ordered the PPB “to prepare mobile field forces to respond to any public safety needs, including potential violence related to mass gatherings. Also, I have spoken to Governor Brown, and the Oregon State Police is making members of its Mobile Response Team available on standby. We are also coordinating with other regional law enforcement partners.”
Wheeler’s statement also noted that though the officers resigned from the Rapid Response Team, they “remain sworn members of the Portland Police Bureau.”
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.