Marches, riot mark anniversary of George Floyd’s death in Portland

Protests

George Floyd died May 25, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police declared a riot after a crowd smashed windows at City Hall after trying to set the Justice Center on fire in downtown Portland on Tuesday night, a year to the day since George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer.

Officers said shortly before 9:30 p.m. that the crowd was yelling “burn the building down” and had pushed a burning dumpster against the Justice Center. According to the Portland Police Bureau, others were throwing frozen water bottles and eggs at officers and metal spikes into the road. Some tore down fencing around Chapman Square Park and used segments to block SW 4th Avenue near SW Main Street.

The PPB said they were warning the crowd against illegal activity, saying those who refuse to comply could be arrested.

Officers cleared the metal spikes so that firefighters could reach the dumpster fire. Once the flames were extinguished, the PPB said officers deployed smoke before leaving the area.

About half an hour later, police said the crowd of about 200 had moved to Portland City Hall where people were smashing and tagging windows. A riot was declared and officers said the crowd was ordered to leave or face arrest and the use of force.

The group moved on a short time later and wandered around the downtown area, blocking streets and breaking windows, police said. Some in the crowd were heard saying the night was a success, according to PPB.

At 11 p.m., police announced that it had made “targeted arrests… of some who have engaged in criminal activity.” Several hours later, they released the following names:

  • 30-year-old Elizabeth Hall, Criminal Mischief II
  • 30-year-old Emery Hall, Criminal Mischief II, Escape III
  • 23-year-old Rhiannon Millar-Griffin, Criminal Mischief I, Riot
  • 22-year-old Jacob Myers, Criminal Mischief I
  • 21-year-old Jarrid Huber, Arson I, Criminal Mischief I, Criminal Mischief II x 5, Riot

The crowd dwindled to a few dozen people by midnight.

Officers with the Portland Police Bureau stand guard in front of a burning dumpster pushed against the Justice Center by protesters on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, May 25, 2021. (Sergio Olmos)

Across the nation, Floyd’s death set off a social movement that has brought peaceful activists to the streets along with those more prone to violence. In Portland, protests continued for more than 100 consecutive nights. What began as outcry over his death evolved into a larger call about different ways to police cities.

Three large events happened Tuesday in Portland related to the anniversary of Floyd’s death, one at Revolution Hall and the others downtown.

  • About 150 people gathered at Revolution Hall at SE Stark and 12th and then started marching. The group marched down NE 7th Avenue toward the Burnside Bridge, stopping at each intersection to chant to commemorate Floyd’s life and others killed by police officers. A former firetruck led the procession with a sign that read “people over profit.”
  • Protesters gathered at the Justice Center beginning around 8 p.m. — the scene of many of the more violent events over the past year. Portland police said they initially gathered in the street near SW 3rd and Main.
  • And a third event, without specifying a time or location was billed as a “May 25th Night Shift all out for abolition” and called for “small actions, big targets.” This is the event that drew hundreds of marchers throughout downtown who smashed windows, tagged buildings and set fires.

Rememberances elsewhere

(AP) — A family-friendly street festival, musical performances and moments of silence were held Tuesday to honor George Floyd and mark the year since he died at the hands of Minneapolis police, a death captured on wrenching bystander video that galvanized the racial justice movement and continues to bring calls for change.

FILE – In this May 31, 2020 file photo, visitors make silent visits to organic memorial featuring a mural of George Floyd, near the spot where he died while in police custody, in Minneapolis, Minn. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Floyd’s sister Bridgett and other family members held a moment of silence at a “Celebration of Life” event at a downtown Minneapolis park that included music, food trucks, an inflatable bouncy house and a vaccination stand. A few miles away, at the site of the intersection where Floyd died, dozens of people kneeled around a steel fist sculpture for several minutes — symbolizing the 9 minutes, 29 seconds during which Floyd was pinned down.

“It’s been a troubling year, a long year,” Bridgett Floyd told the crowd downtown. “But we made it. … The love is here. George is here.”

Other members of Floyd’s family met in Washington with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who urged Congress to quickly pass a law in Floyd’s name that would bring changes to policing. A moment of silence to honor Floyd was also held in New York and a rally was held in Los Angeles.

Globally, a rally took place in Germany and Floyd’s death was marked by U.S. embassies in Greece and Spain.

Hours before the Minneapolis festivities, the intersection where Floyd died was disrupted by gunfire.

Associated Press video from 38th Street and Chicago Avenue — informally known as George Floyd Square — showed people running for cover as shots rang out. Police said a man, who they believe was injured in the shooting, went to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound. Police said he was in critical condition but was expected to survive. There were no immediate arrests.

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