PORTLAND, Ore. — The great grandmother of a teen killed by Portland Police said someone pulled a gun on her during a Black Lives Matter protest, Friday night.
Sylvia Dollarson, 77, was participating in the PDX Car Caravan protest. The twice-weekly demonstration caters to senior citizens who want to stand up for Black lives in a more contained environment. Dollarson’s daughter, Donna Hayes, started the caravan protests. Her grandson, Quanice Hayes, was shot and killed by Portland Police in 2017. She uses the protests to stand for police reform and public education.
“We had a man say, ‘All lives matter,’” said Hayes. “I had a megaphone and I said, ‘All lives can't matter until Black lives matter.’ That was education.”
Dollarson said no one expected what happened August 28. She said the caravan was driving through Portland’s East Columbia neighborhood around 6:30 p.m. when a man driving a truck blocked traffic at Northeast Gertz Road at 13th Avenue. A bystander caught the events on camera. (In cases like this where a person has not been named a suspect in a crime, KGW does not reveal their identity, so his face is blurred in the above video.)
“This man blocked the caravan,” said Dollarson. “I thought that because of my age and because I'm the great-grandmother of Quanice, I thought that maybe I could talk to him.”
Dollarson got out of her car and walked up to the man's window. She said he was moving his truck back and forth to stop the caravan from getting around him.
“I asked him to stop and his hands went down,” said Dollarson. “He came up with a gun and he [pointed it] at me.”
When other protesters saw the gun, they ushered Dollarson away. Hayes was out of town that night but soon heard what happened.
“Well I was pretty pissed off because this was my mother,” said Hayes.
Dollarson said the man couldn't give a reason as to why he was blocking the road.
“This man's neighbors came out to talk to him and it did no good,” recalled Dollarson. “This man's mother came out—I don't know what she said to him—but I do know what she told me, that we ain’t have no business around there.”
Eventually, those in the caravan found a way around the roadblock and the man in the truck left. Dollarson said she had not yet filed a police report but planned to.
“It finally registered to me that that man pointed a gun at me!” said Dollarson. “I was totally shocked because who expects this?”