At least 200 people marched through downtown Portland on Thursday evening to protest the police shooting of a black teenager last week.
The protest began with messages of defiance directed at the Portland police, and ended with a tense standoff between demonstrators and officers in riot gear.
The group of mostly young demonstrators stretched over a block long as they marched through downtown streets. Some of their chants were familiar, like “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace,” but they took on added resonance in the wake of last week’s shooting death of 17-year-old Quanice Hayes.
One refrain from the marchers was sadly new.
“Say his name!” an organizer would shout.
“Quanice Hayes!” demonstrators would respond.
Hayes died last week after being shot three times by Portland police officer Andrew Hearst. Police have said he was a suspect in an armed robbery. His family and friends describe a loving teenage boy.
The evening march paused twice just west of the Willamette River. Marchers sat on the street in sight of the Hawthorne Bridge, not far from the federal courthouse, to stage a “die-in.” Marchers then climbed the steps of the Multnomah County Justice Center to build a memorial of candles and signs.
The march was not permitted and had a few tense moments as police attempted to keep protesters from blocking traffic. But there were no major physical confrontations throughout the evening.
The Portland Police made one arrest after a 19-year-old had an interaction with a motorist on Southwest 3rd Avenue.
The protest ended where it began, on the Portland State University campus. Tension between protesters and police that had remained in check throughout the nearly two-hour march threatened to blow up when police appeared at the edge of the South Park blocks, as demonstrators gathered in a planned ending to the march.
Demonstrators hurled insults at officers and chanted, “Take off your riot gear, I don’t see no riot here!”
After a 10-minute standoff, the police turned to leave and jogged back to their vehicle. A number of protesters chased after them, jeering as officers pulled away.