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After police chief change, protesters in Portland call for further reform

At the very least, protesters said the change shows their voices are being heard. But they say further reform, including defunding the police, is necessary.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Demonstrations continued Monday night in Portland as thousands protested police brutality, racial injustice and the death of George Floyd, the black man who died two weeks ago in Minneapolis police custody after a white officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes.

Monday night's demonstrations came on the heels of Portland Police Chief Jami Resch announcing her resignation as chief and naming Lt. Chuck Lovell the city's new police chief. Several prominent black community leaders said Lovell is exactly what the city needs right now.

A leader involved in the protests, Devin Boss with Rose City Justice, offered qualified optimism as reaction to the change at the top.

“I like the idea of having a black man with a history of engaging with and aiding all people within the community. However, I’m going to hold off celebrating until I see his actions in his new role," Boss said.

At the very least, protesters said the change shows their voices are being heard. But they say further reform, including defunding the police, is necessary.

Rose City Justice led a demonstration of thousands Monday night. As they have done consistently, they met at Revolution Hall in Southeast Portland around 6 p.m. From there, protesters went on a miles-long march to Northeast 15th Avenue and Alberta Street, chosen because of the gentrification that has occurred in the Alberta Arts District. 

On their way to Alberta Street, the protesters marched on Interstate 84, taking police by surprise. The group marched on both sides of the freeway, from Northeast 12th Avenue to Northeast 33rd Avenue, lasting about 30 minutes. The march led to a shutdown of the freeway.

RELATED: Watch: Protesters in Portland march on I-84

By 7:45 p.m., protesters exited onto Northeast 33rd Avenue as they continued their march. Once at Northeast 15th Avenue and Alberta Street, protesters listened to several impassioned speeches. 

“This doesn’t stop because we have a new police chief. This doesn’t stop because we pass one or two things. We want systemic change," one speaker told the crowd.

Once speeches were completed, the group marched back to Revolution Hall.

In downtown, hundreds of people again gathered outside the Multnomah County Justice Center. The building, which houses hundred of inmates, is fenced off after rioters broke in and set small fires on the first night of demonstrations on May 29. While police said protesters were shaking the fence and throwing items, including glass bottles, over the fence, there were no major confrontations reported.

During the demonstration, officers saw two men carrying AR-15-style rifles. Adan Flores, 25, was cited for a city code violation and possession of a loaded firearm in public. Officers confiscated both rifles. Police say the investigation is ongoing.

In previous nights, police have declared protests outside the Justice Center unlawful assemblies and used flash bangs, tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters. KGW's Mike Benner reported it appeared police monitored the protesters from farther away compared to previous nights.

Below is a timeline of Monday night's protests:

11:15 p.m.

A crowd remains outside the Multnomah County Justice Center. Police say protesters are throwing glass bottles. There have been no major confrontations with police. KGW's Mike Benner reports there's a second layer of fencing on the Southwest 3rd Avenue side of the Justice Center. He said police are monitoring the protesters from further away compared to previous nights.

10:45 p.m.

Marchers have returned to Revolution Hall in Southeast Portland.

In downtown Portland, police say projectiles are being thrown at officers outside the Justice Center.

10:10 p.m.

In an update posted on Twitter, a spokesperson says Portland police believes there were drivers associated with the march who assisted with blocking Interstate 84 to allow protesters to march on the freeway earlier in the night.

In downtown, the crowd outside the Multnomah County Justice Center grows to hundreds.

10 p.m.

Protesters continue their march back to Revolution Hall after they gathered in the Alberta Arts District.

9:25 p.m.

In Northeast Portland, protesters are now leaving after listening to speakers at Northeast 15th Avenue and Alberta Street.

Credit: KGW
Protesters at Northeast 15th Avenue and Alberta Street on June 8, 2020

9:15 p.m.

Protesters have also gathered outside the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown. Police are advising the crowd to stop shaking a fence that was put up around the building after rioters broke in and set small fires on May 29.

9 p.m.

Portland police says they're investigating a report of a driver who felt threatened during the march on Interstate 84 earlier in the night.

8:50 p.m.

Protesters reach the destination point of their march: Northeast 15th Avenue and Alberta Street.

Speakers begin addressing the crowd. One speaker says the Portland Police Bureau having a new chief is not enough change.

8:25 p.m.

Police say the protesters are now marching westbound on Northeast Alberta Street. They were previously northbound on Northeast 33rd Avenue. 

8:15 p.m.

Demonstrators continue their miles-long march to Northeast 15th Avenue and Alberta Street.

7:50 p.m.

Protesters have completely left the freeway and continue to march to the Alberta Arts District in Northeast Portland. I-84 is reopen.

7:40 p.m.

Police say protesters are exiting I-84 at Northeast 33rd Avenue. The march is expected to continue from there to the Alberta Arts District.

7:35 p.m.

Protesters continue to march on both sides of Interstate 84. 

The Portland Police Bureau said it had no prior knowledge that demonstrators planned to march on the interstate.

7:30 p.m.

All lanes of I-84 are closed at 16th Avenue due to protesters marching on the freeway, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Pictures show the backup and cars turning around.

7:15 p.m.

Demonstrators are marching on Interstate 84. Police say they're marching toward Northeast 33rd Avenue and blocking traffic on all lanes.

6:50 p.m.

Protesters who gathered at Revolution Hall begin marching.

6:40 p.m.

A group of bicyclists rode through Portland as part of “Pedal for Justice.”

RELATED: Portland protests: Nonviolent gatherings and unlawful assemblies

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