PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency in the city in order to prepare for potential unrest following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. Chauvin was found guilty on all counts Tuesday afternoon.
The mayor held a news conference with city leaders Tuesday afternoon. He said local law enforcement agencies, Oregon State Police and "select National Guard members" will be in place if needed.
The state of emergency will last 24 hours, Wheeler said, but can be extended. It allows the mayor to declare a curfew if necessary, close streets and close other public facilities such as parking garages.
On Monday night, a march in Portland, said to be on behalf of George Floyd, ended with two arrests as members of the group vandalized buildings in Northeast Portland, including the Blazers Boys & Girls Club located at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Emerson Street.
“These people are not protesters," Wheeler said of about 100 self-described anarchists. "They are criminals. Their goal is to destroy the economic center of Oregon."
The city is preparing for the possibility of more protests and demonstrations in Portland now that the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial has been delivered.
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree and third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd. Bystander video and police body camera footage showed the former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.