Sharaya Hamer, 16, a student at McNary High School was among hundreds who showed up to protest police violence on the steps of the state Capitol. (Kate McMahon/Salem Reporter)
Protesters took to the streets in Salem for the third night in a row to speak out against police brutality.
The protests are part of a wave of demonstrations cities across the country have seen in response to Minneapolis man George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police last week. In some parts of the country, including Salem, the demonstrations have involved property damage, confrontations with the police and arrests.
Salem has seen protests Saturday and Sunday night. On Sunday, police arrested 13 people.
On Monday, as another night of protest was planned, City Manager Steve Powers enacted an 8 p.m. curfew that extends to 6 a.m. the next day. President Donald Trump has also threatened to use the military to quell riots.
Anger in the community was also fueled by President Trump's announced Monday evening that he would resort to military force to restore order across the country if governors and mayors didn't act more forcefully to end violent protests.
Fred Heard of Salem, former Oregon Senate president and now a vicar at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Dallas, said in a Facebook post Monday evening, "I join the presiding bishop and Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., in outrage and disgust in President Trump’s clearing of the street of peaceful demonstrators outside the White House using tear gas and rubber bullets in order to walk to Saint John Episcopal Church and wave a Bible. He used the church and the Bible as political props. This is beyond belief."
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden took to Twitter to denounce the president's remarks.
"The fascist speech Donald Trump just delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens," said Wyden. "I fear for our country tonight and will not stop defending America against Trump’s assault."
Earlier in the evening, Deputy Police Chief George Burke said in a meeting with the Salem-Keizer of the NAACP that the curfew would apply to everyone, even peaceful protesters.
However, as 8 p.m. approached and the protest at the Capitol already underway, the city of Salem, Salem Police Department and the local NACCP issued a joint statement supporting peaceful protest.
“We acknowledge the very long way we have come and the very long way we must go in the work for true equity,” reads the statement. “We see and recognize the pain and the burden of historical and present injustices facing people of color in the United States and here in Salem. With anguish, we recognize the passing of Mr. George Floyd as the most recent example, but not the only example of the devastating loss of life that drives the need for action.”
We'll have updates as they come.
7:58 p.m.: Two Salem police officers take a knee with protesters. Law enforcement in other cities have also made the gesture as a sign of solidarity with protesters. One woman wept. Officers say they’re representing the department.
Officers take a knee with protesters at a demonstration on Monday, June 1. (Salem Reporter)
8:00 p.m. As the curfew official goes into effect, Lt. Treven Upkes reads a joint statement from the Salem Police Department and the local NAACP.
As the city's 8 p.m. curfew goes into effect, police take a knee and read a joint statement from the Salem Police Department and the local NAACP. (Salem Reporter)
8:15 p.m.: Lt. Jason Van Meter asks a couple of protesters if they want Court Street shut off to safely march. He's now asking other officers to do that over the radio.
There’s a variety of reactions in the crowd to officers taking a knee with protesters. Most are positive but more than a few people say "no more tear gas.”
Krista and Lily from Dallas were among the protesters at Monday night's protest. (Kate McMahon/Salem Reporter)
8:19 p.m.: Protesters being passing out candles in preparation for the vigil at the Capitol.
Some protesters play NWA's iconic anti-police anthem over speakers. A couple younger-looking people start spraying each other with water in what looked like good fun. Others quickly stepped in to shut it down.
State and local police watch the crowd of protesters. (Kate McMahon/Salem Reporter)
8:38 p.m.: Police say that so far the protest has been more peaceful than the previous two nights.
A Salem police officer blocks Court Street to allow space for a protest on Monday June 1, 2020. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
8:44 p.m. Police block Court Street near the Capitol building to allow more space for protesters.
People are standing around in smaller groups. A sign reading “Too Many Cops” is draped over the statutes near the building. The statues were covered in graffiti during an earlier protest.
Zack Jackson, an attendee of Monday's protest against police brutality, speaks to those gathered on the Capitol steps. (Kate McMahon/Salem Reporter)
Protesters at Monday's demonstration against police brutality sit or take a knee while listening to speakers. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
8:53 p.m.: Protesters sit or kneel as Zack Jackson, one of the event’s organizers takes a bullhorn.
"This is how change happens, from people like you,” he says.
Roughly 500 people have gathered so far.
Dion Salazar of Turner lights a candle as part of Monday's vigil. (Kate McMahon/Salem Reporter)
9:05 p.m.: Protesters start to light candles as part of the vigil while speakers continue to address the crowd.
Protesters light candles as part of a vigil on Monday June 1 against police brutality. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
9:13 p.m.: Protesters light candles as the sun sets.
Several speakers bond over being among a handful of black students who went to Eastern Oregon University. One leads the crowd in a "NO FEAR!" chant.
9:20 p.m.: A police SUV leads protesters along their planned route to the new headquarters of the Salem Police Department. Protesters chant, “I can’t breathe,” followed by, “Get off my neck.”
The chants are a reference to some of the last words spoken by George Floyd, a Minneapolis man whose death prompted similar demonstrations across the country.
9:32 p.m.: After kneeling with protesters earlier, they are now stopping when protesters stop and move when protesters resume their march. They’re on their way to the Salem police department.
9:35 p.m.: There's a rope and barricade blocking off the new police station on Division Street N.E. Police ask protesters to leave their candles behind before crossing the rope. Protesters are muttering to be let through.
Lt. Treven Upkes takes the bullhorn.
“Your voice is powerful this is amazing,” he says. “Thank you. We hear you.”
Protesters fill the streets on Monday night's protest. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
Protesters holding candles approach the Salem police headquarters. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
9:42 p.m.: Marchers place lit candles on the barricade in front of the new police headquarters.
"What are we here for?”
“What do we want?”
9:47 p.m.: Some protesters approach police to shake hands over the barricade and thank them for being there. Other protesters chant, “I can’t breathe.”
Police announce that they will follow protesters back to the Capitol to make sure they have a clear path.
9:52: Protesters are now marching back to the Capitol. Upkes advises the crowd that the curfew is in effect and that they should go home after returning to the Capitol.
Fewer than 20 protesters have remained at the barricades where the candles continue to burn down. Upke continues talking with protesters.
10:07 p.m.: The crowd thins out. A firefighter extinguishes the candles.