Unrest Erupts in Portland over Police Killing of Black Man
By Staff, Agencies
Tensions boiled over into unrest late Friday following a vigil for a Black man shot and killed by law enforcement in a city near Portland, US state of Oregon, in southwestern Washington State.
Mourners gathered in Hazel Dell, an unincorporated area of Vancouver, Washington, where family and friends say Kevin E. Peterson Jr., 21, was shot Thursday night. The city is about 12 miles north of Portland.
Hundreds of people gathered for the vigil Friday evening, with some holding signs reading, “Honk for Black lives. White silence is violence” and “Scream his name.”
Nearby, tensions flared between left- and right-wing protesters. Video recorded by journalists in a parking lot showed two groups of people shouting at each other. Also, some armed demonstrators gathered near a building they told reporters they were protecting.
The crowds ultimately fizzled out near the vigil but a group of hundreds of protesters later marched through downtown Vancouver. Windows were shattered, flags were burned and federal agents clothed in riot gear surrounded a building — warning people that trespassing on federal property would be subject to arrest.
Multiple videos showed two vehicles facing each other just after midnight on a downtown street. Two shots were heard but reporters at the scene said it didn't appear anyone was hit.
Family and friends had described Peterson as a former high school football player and the proud father of an infant daughter.
In a statement, Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins said a joint city-county narcotics task force was conducting an investigation just before 6 p.m. Thursday and chased a man into the parking lot of a bank, where he fired a gun at them. A firearm was recovered at the scene, Atkins said, AP reported.
Authorities have not named the person who was shot, but Kevin E. Peterson Sr. told The Oregonian/OregonLive the person was his son, Kevin E. Peterson Jr. Atkins referenced the Peterson family in his remarks but did not confirm Peterson was the person who was killed.