Between 50-100 Portlanders marched tonight in protest of today's fatal police shooting, temporarily closing down East Burnside and breaking an ATM and Starbucks window before peacefully dispersing.
The crowd, which was not organized by a specific group but rallied through word-of-mouth and text message, met up in Colonel Summers park in SE Portland around 8pm and marched to the Southeast Police Precinct on SE 47th and Burnside. There, dozens of police met the protesters, who then broke off into small groups, meeting up again in Laurelhurst Park before again dispersing into the night. According to multiple witnesses, there were no major clashes between the crowd and police but at least two protesters were pepper sprayed.
Kathryn Cates and a friend were walking by the protest as it gathered in Colonel Summers and decided to join. Cates was frustrated that NPR this afternoon only had a short snippet of information about the shooting. "My immediate reaction was I wanted to hear more, I wanted to know what’s going on," says Cates. "We knew everything about the Aaron Campbell thing within a few minutes. When the community is asking for more accountability, why the lockdown? We need to feel safe. We don’t know what happened to that guy. We don’t know if he was out for a jog, we don’t know if he was black. And now in the meantime the police get to put their story together."
As the crowd moved up Burnside, someone seems to have thrown a rock through three windows of an insurance company next to Chopsticks II on Burnside, also smashing up a Wells Fargo ATM and the window of the Starbucks on the corner of 28th Avenue.
Brian Boshart was working the booth at the Laurelhurst Theater when the protest passed. "I heard some sounds coming up the street, at first I thought it was caroling," says Boshart. "Then a crowd with sticks and full face bandana action blocked the street, turning over the newspaper boxes and shouting. A guy came up to the window and said, 'The cops shot someone! We're rioting!' They passed and then came the cop cars. I counted 19 cop cars!"
"People aren't waiting to hear what happened today because the police don't have any credibility," said one protester.
Tentative plans are to rally again tomorrow at 6pm in Colonel Summers. More updates as they come. Send information and photos to us here.
Update 7:54 am: The Oregonian is reporting that the victim is a white man in his 40s who police were not able to identify yesterday. The medical examiners office is planned for 10 AM this morning to ID the man and determine cause of death.
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