The mother of Patrick Kimmons stood quietly in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center, chiming in to yell her son’s name and other protest chants: “Patrick Kimmons, say his name!”
On Saturday, protesters marched through downtown Portland for Kimmons, a 27-year-old black man who was shot and killed by Portland police on Sept. 30. Police say Sgt. Garry Britt and officer Jeffrey Livingston shot Kimmons after two other people had been injured in a separate shooting. Both officers are on paid administrative leave.
“No mother wants to go before their child,” said Victoria Mohammad, Kimmons’ grandmother. “She has to carry that burden for life — her baby.”
Two Portland Police officers attempted to monitor the beginnings of the protest when it gathered at 2 p.m. Saturday. Protesters quickly worked to get the officers to leave, calling their presence disrespectful. The two officers stood a block away from the protest. A bicyclist rode up to the two officers and asked what was going on. One of the officers would explain demonstrators were protesting an “officer-involved shooting.”
“We ain’t here to riot, we’re here for justice,” said Charles Kimmons, Patrick’s uncle. “What happened is strictly uncalled for, and we need to fight this all the way to the end. These cops need to be locked up. But we’re going to have to fight.”
The protest, which was large enough to block traffic, remained peaceful. In one tense moment, protesters attempted to stop a silver car from advancing while protesters marched by. A protester stood in front of the car, which then sped up, pushing the protester in front of it backward before speeding away. KATU reported PPB had not heard from the driver or the victim as of Saturday evening.
There are competing narratives about the events leading up to Kimmons’ death. Kimmons’ family says he was shot more than 15 times as he ran away from police unarmed. Sources with PPB told the Oregonian/OregonLive that police fired multiple times at a man who turned toward them holding a gun.
“I don’t care if he was around here stealing cars. He was a human being, period,” Mohammad said. “He should be here.”
Letha Winston, Kimmons’ mother, told OPB in an earlier interview that the family intends to pursue legal action.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing. A Multnomah County grand jury will also review the case.