Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Portland Thursday evening to protest the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile — two African-American men killed this week in Louisiana and Minnesota by police officers.
Against the backdrop of Pioneer Courthouse Square, the protesters took turns speaking on a megaphone and carrying out chants as they called for racial justice.
Portland resident Mark Kernell said he felt compelled to come to the protest after watching his wife cry herself to sleep after watching news reports about the shootings.
“I’m tired of seeing people acting like it’s OK to watch people die. It’s not a movie. They don’t yell cut when it’s over with. The people don’t get back up,” Kernell said. “And those poor children who lost their parents yesterday are going to have to wake up tomorrow and the day after and the day after, and have a Father’s Day and a birthday and an anniversary and a Christmas without their parents there anymore [all] for a traffic stop and [all] for a brother hustling CDs on the corner.”
A man at the protest briefly pulled out a gun, but marchers asked him to leave. Sgt. Pete Simpson said Michael Strickland, 36, of Portland, has been charged with menacing and disorderly conduct.
No shots were fired during Thursday’s incident, which happened the same night snipers shot and killed five Dallas police officers and wounded seven more at a demonstration
The march continued peacefully after the arrest.
AP contributed to this report.