Rioters in Portland assaulted a police officer, smashed the windows of and defaced two Starbucks stores and started a dumpster fire after former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd.
Two people were arrested, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Late Tuesday afternoon a Minneapolis jury found Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter for pinning Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The city has seen repeated protests and vandalism since Floyd’s death last May. Earlier Tuesday Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency for the verdict at Chauvin’s trial.
Wheeler on Wednesday extended the state of emergency for another 24 hours. The declaration places the National Guard and Oregon State Police on standby.
People began gathering around 7 p.m. Tuesday to “celebrate George’s life” outside the Justice Center in downtown Portland, KOIN reported.
At its peak, police estimated there were about 150 people who blocked roads in the area of the Hatfield Courthouse. One man was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief. Police said a second man scuffled with officers and was arrested on charges that included assaulting a public safety officer and assault.
“At approximately 10:07 p.m., a second person was arrested after a scuffle with officers,” the Portland Police Bureau stated in a news release.
“Videos of the arrest have been posted to social media by various bystanders, including some that did not provide the entire context of the incident. On our Twitter page, we shared the most complete video we could find. It showed a Portland Police sergeant walking his bike when a person dressed in all black stepped in his path. The sergeant moved the person aside when another person punched the sergeant in the head. A scuffle began and the sergeant was knocked to the ground. The sergeant landed in a dangerous position, underneath the suspect and on his back. That's when other officers moved in to stop the assault.”
On Tuesday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter. Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of George Floyd for over nine minutes during an arrest, is to be sentenced in about eight weeks, in a case that has stoked protests against police violence and racial injustice around the world.
In the aftermath of the conviction, many political leaders and activists praised the jury decision, calling it a solid first step toward improving race and police relations. But as events in Portland may have suggested, others were less satisfied. Some vented their dissatisfaction, lamenting the fact that Floyd had to die to raise awareness and criticizing steps toward healing as insufficient.
Meanwhile, political battles continue to rage over issues including whether to shift funding from police to social service and community organizations, and whether to pass major legislation on overhauling law enforcement.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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