PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Protests in response to George Floyd’s death have been happening for two weeks now in Portland, and Thursday night escalated to police declaring an unlawful assembly downtown.
Thursday marked the 15th night of demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice following the police killing of Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis.
The day started out peaceful around 6 p.m., with thousands gathering at Revolution Hall in southeast Portland.
Another group came together outside the Justice Center downtown around 9 p.m. Both locations have become the routine meeting points for demonstrators the past two weeks.
In the Revolution Hall crowd were hundreds of children, parents and teachers. The group was organized by middle school students.
Protesters proceeded to march from Revolution Hall to Grant High School in northeast Portland and assembled at the school for several hours before returning to Revolution Hall.
The group outside the Justice Center was mostly peaceful the first two hours of demonstrating, with officers observing some shaking and cutting of the fence surrounding the Justice Center and several thrown projectiles.
At around 11:17 p.m., police said protesters began throwing “commercial grade fireworks” at officers, causing a “civil disturbance.” It was then an unlawful assembly was declared by police, with officers encouraging the crowd to leave the area.
Police said officers began dispersing demonstrators about 15 minutes later and several people were arrested.
Group near fence stands their ground as police push forward. Everyone is scattered now. We watched officers arrest one man a few minutes after this. Video taken at 11:35pm, 2nd & Jefferson. #Portland #pdx #JusticeCenter @fox12oregon #breakingnews pic.twitter.com/XE8vJSSYXl— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) June 12, 2020
The group then walked to Pioneer Courthouse Square and dispersed shortly after.
Police last declared an unlawful assembly during downtown demonstrations on Sunday.
Police said that around 12:30 a.m. Friday, a smaller group of demonstrators returned to the Justice Center area. A civil disturbance was declared again, and officers told people to leave. Police said the demonstrators refused to disperse and more arrests were made.
Additional information on the arrests has not been released.
Police said officers did not use any CS gas during Thursday’s demonstrations. The bureau has been ordered to limit its use of gas under a temporary ruling by a judge.
Police are asking anyone with information about individuals who committed criminal activity at any event to share that information with them by emailing CrimeTips@portlandoregon.gov.
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