PORTLAND, Ore. — What began Friday night as a peaceful vigil honoring George Floyd, a black man who died while in the custody of a Minneapolis police officer, turned into march that led to a riot in downtown Portland that continued into the early morning hours of Saturday.
The vigil took place at 6 p.m. at Peninsula Park in North Portland. Hundreds of people, spread out across the park, showed up in solidarity with Minneapolis protesters to demand justice for Floyd's death.
At around 9 p.m., many in the large crowd began a miles-long march to downtown Portland. During the march, buildings along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard were tagged with graffiti and windows to many businesses were smashed.
Photos: Protest, vandalism in Portland in response to George Floyd's death
The demonstrators arrived at the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland at around 11 p.m. It was around this time that Portland police declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly and told people to leave due to vandalism and a shooting connected to the protest. No additional details about the shooting have been released.
Shortly after the unlawful assembly declaration, a fire was set inside the justice center. Police said projectiles were being thrown at officers. More fires were set in downtown Portland, leading police to declare the demonstration a riot.
Rioters went on to loot buildings in downtown, include the PIoneer Place mall, while police attempted to disperse the crowd with tear gas, flash bangs and other uses of force.
At around 12:30 a.m., in an interview with KGW, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said actions of the rioters were "unconscionable," and did not honor Floyd's legacy.
The looting and fires continued into the early morning hours of Saturday.