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PORTLAND, OR – In response to the verdict in the trial Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd – where the former police officer was found guilty on all charges – protestors engaged in vandalism and rioting in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday night, according to reports.
Authorities across the country have been preparing in anticipation of potential protests in the wake of the Chauvin verdict; the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 had sparked months of protests nationwide – along with rioting and looting from some groups, with Portland being one of the hotspots – and police were concerned over this occurring once again.
Within hours after the verdict was announced, what police referred to as an “unlawful assembly” gathered by the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center; at approximately 9 p.m., some of the 100 protestors present began spray-painting the Justice Center, and by 9:45 p.m. a group of about 60 protestors broke off and began marching into the city’s downtown area, where they began to break the windows of businesses there.
Police in riot gear responded, and by the time the protests had ended at approximately 11 p.m., two arrests had been made; Randy Gray, 36, was charged with assaulting a peace officer, harassment, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after punching an officer in the face. Kenneth Harold, 24, was arrested on charges of criminal mischief, police said, and was in possession of items typically used in vandalism, including a glass-breaking tool and cans of spray paint.
Prior to the Chauvin verdict, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced during a press conference that he had declared a 24-hour state of emergency and that the National Guard and Oregon State Police would be on standby if needed. In addition, Portland police received assistance from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies.