Portland Black Lives Matter group feels progress is being made

A car drove through a crowd and a protester was shot in the suburban Denver suburb of Aurora during demonstrations against racial injustice.
The Aurora Police Department said on Twitter that protesters were walking on Interstate 225 Saturday when a vehicle drove through.
Police said a protester fired a weapon, striking at least one person who was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
Authorities said the vehicle was towed and they are investigating. Protesters also broke windows to the courthouse and a fire was started in an office, police said. An unlawful assembly was declared and police ordered protesters to leave the area, authorities said.
Tensions have been heightened at recent protests against racial injustice since federal officials were sent to quell demonstrations in Portland, Oregon. Police declared a riot in Seattle on Saturday.
Protests sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man in Minnesota who died after a white officer held him to the ground with a knee to his neck, have also highlighted other cases of fatal police violence.

In Colorado, protesters have been drawing attention to the death of Elijah McClain, who was stopped by police while walking down an Aurora street in August 2019 after a 911 caller reported him as suspicious. Police placed him in a chokehold, and paramedics administered 500 milligrams of ketamine, a sedative, to calm him down. He went into cardiac arrest, was later declared brain dead and taken off life support.




Seattle police declared a riot Saturday following large demonstrations in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and deployed flash bangs and pepper spray to try to clear an area near where weeks earlier people had set up an “occupied protest zone” that stretched for several blocks.
Via Twitter, police said they had made more than two dozen arrests for assault on officers, obstruction, and failure to disperse. They also said they were “investigating a possible explosive damage” to the walls of the city’s East Precinct police station.
Authorities said rocks, bottles, fireworks, and mortars were thrown at officers as they attempted to clear the area over the course of several hours stretching into Saturday night. One officer was hospitalized with a leg injury caused by an explosive.
Earlier, protesters in Seattle broke through a fence where a youth detention facility was being built, with some people setting a fire and damaging a portable trailer, authorities said.
Thousands of protesters had initially gathered peacefully near downtown in a show of solidarity with fellow demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, where tensions with federal law enforcement have boiled over during protests stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Initially, there was no sign of law enforcement near the Seattle march. Later, Seattle Police said via Twitter that about a dozen people breached the construction site for the King County youth detention facility. Also, police said protesters broke out windows at a King County court facility.
Earlier this week King County Executive Dow Constantine, in response to long-standing demands by community activists, said he would work to eliminate youth detention centers in the county by 2025.
After the fire at the construction site authorities said they had ordered people to leave a different area, in a section of Capitol Hill, near downtown, where the East Precinct is. At least one person broke through a fence line at the precinct, authorities said, and moments later a device explosive that left an 8-inch (20-centimeter) hole in the side of the precinct.
Earlier this month police cleared the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone after two fatal shootings. A group had occupied several blocks around a park for about two weeks following standoffs and clashes that were part of the nationwide unrest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Prior to Saturday’s protests, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best had announced officers would be armed with pepper spray and other weapons, promising officers would not use tear gas and urging demonstrators to remain peaceful.
“In the spirit of offering trust and full transparency, I want to advise you that SPD officers will be carrying pepper spray and blast balls today, as would be typical for events that carry potential to include violence,” Best said.
At an emergency hearing on Friday night, U.S. District Judge James Robart granted a request from the federal government to block Seattle’s new law prohibiting police from using pepper spray, blast balls, and similar weapons.
The temporary restraining order halts the law that the Seattle City Council passed unanimously last month after confrontations that have largely been peaceful but were occasionally marked by violence, looting, and highway shutdowns. The law intended to de-escalate tensions between police and demonstrators was set to take effect on Sunday.
But the U.S. Department of Justice, citing Seattle’s longstanding police consent decree, successfully argued that banning the use of crowd control weapons could actually lead to more police use of force, leaving them only with more deadly weapons.
Organizers feel like they are making progress as protests in Portland are nearing their second month.
The PDX Black Youth Movement feels that gathering in crowds is drawing attention. From here, they want to talk to city officials and push for changes.
KATU asked what the end goal is moving forward. Organizers said it includes a shift in health care, education, policing, and housing reform.
However, not all groups are on the same page. Some are pushing to defund the police, while others want to abolish the department.
Two members of the Black Youth Movement did not want to share their last names, but they did mention their thoughts when it came to those on the front lines.
Erandi said she feels optimistic watching fireworks were thrown and fences come down.
“Creating the disturbance at night and tearing down the fences, I am in support of that because we’re applying pressure and it shows we’re not giving up. It shows that this isn’t something that’s just been trending," she said.
KATU asked those organizers their thoughts about those new to the Justice Center protests, such as the Wall of Moms. They say they feel this is taking away from the movement.
Moving forward, the group hopes black voices will be amplified.




Thousands of people gathered in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle on Saturday to protest in support of Black Lives Matter and show solidarity with those demonstrating in Portland, Oregon, CBS affiliate KIRO-TV reports. Seattle police declared the gathering a riot after fires were set and some buildings were vandalized and have arrested at least 25 people.
The demonstration is taking place in the area that was briefly known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP). After demonstrators began marching, five trailers at a nearby construction site for a juvenile detention center were set on fire. According to Seattle police, protesters also spray painted the 12th police precinct and tried to disable cameras outside the building. Police also claimed protesters were breaking windows of businesses and cars in the area.






Racial Injustice Seattle
Construction buildings burn near the King County Juvenile Detention Center, Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Seattle, shortly after protesters left the area. A large group of protesters were marching Saturday in Seattle in support of Black Lives Matter and against police brutality and racial injustice. Protesters broke windows and vandalized cars at the facility.TED S. WARREN / AP

Police said they deployed "less-lethal munitions" to clear people away from the precinct. Police later claimed that protesters were throwing rocks, balloons filled with liquid, fireworks, and "other explosives" at officers and shared a photo of what appears to be a colored smoke bomb. Police said three officers were injured. One was taken to the hospital while the other two were treated and returned to duty.






Racial Injustice Seattle
Police pepper spray protesters Saturday, July 25, 2020, near Seattle Central Community College in Seattle. A large group of protesters were marching Saturday in Seattle in support of Black Lives Matter and against police brutality and racial injustice.TED S. WARREN / AP

Saturday's demonstration comes one day after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that lifted a ban on Seattle police using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse crowds, KIRO-TV reports. The June 15 ordinance had been put in place following protests that were broken up violently following the death of George Floyd.
On Saturday morning, Seattle police Chief Carmen Best said officers would not carry tear gas on Saturday but would be equipped with pepper spray and blast balls, KIRO-TV reports.
The protest also follows the 57th straight night of protesting in Portland, Oregon, where tear gas was once again used on protesters. Many of the demonstrators in Portland on Friday night came prepared with gas masks, umbrellas and leaf blowers.