Black Lives Matter Maine protesters return to Portland Police Department for anti-racist rally

For the second time this week, Black Lives Matter protesters are gathering outside the Portland Police Department. Hundreds were already gathered just a half hour after the protest’s 4 p.m. start time. The protest calls for systemic changes in policing and justice for Breonna Taylor, the Louisville woman shot and killed by police in her apartment in March.Some protesters breached a level of barricades on the steps leading up to the police department, asking officers what changes they’ve made since previous protests this summer. One protester told WMTW News 8 that, although counter protesters are expected to show up, Black Lives Matter will remain peaceful. Some counter-protestors did show up, although in very small numbers, and occasionally exchanged insults with Black Lives Matter protestors, but the situation remained peaceful throughout the night. At 7:00 pm, after dark, the group grew to a couple hundred, mostly masked, protestors. At one point during demonstrations, the group fractured, with one marching to City Hall, and the other remaining at the Portland Police Station, where they held a prolonged moment of silence in honor of Breonna Taylor. “Breonna Taylor’s verdict came in this week and we believe that we have to show solidarity with Kentucky and we have to share more solidarity with the victims of police brutality here,” said Josh Wood, a protestor in Portland. “Today is about dismantling racist systems, today is about dismantling police as we know it because police hasn’t been working for black people for centuries.”Around 8:00, the group made their way to Commercial Street, where they blocked traffic and maintained chants of “Say Her Name,” and “Black Lives Matter.” BLM Maine and Police Chief Frank Clark also issued statements before the event.Clark issued a statement Friday saying, in part, that organizers did not return phone calls about attempts to work with BLM Maine to ensure a peaceful and safe event. The statement added that police are concerned about traffic flow and threats made to officers on social media.Black Lives Matter Maine publicly responded to Clark’s statement about an hour later, claiming that the group did reach out to the police and that organizers are planning a peaceful event.”Civil disobedience, such as blocking streets, is a tool used to gather the attention of elected officials. We are here, Black and ready to organize on behalf of Maine.” BLM Maine’s statement read. The protest is expected to wrap up before dark.

For the second time this week, Black Lives Matter protesters are gathering outside the Portland Police Department.

Hundreds were already gathered just a half hour after the protest’s 4 p.m. start time.

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The protest calls for systemic changes in policing and justice for Breonna Taylor, the Louisville woman shot and killed by police in her apartment in March.

Some protesters breached a level of barricades on the steps leading up to the police department, asking officers what changes they’ve made since previous protests this summer.

One protester told WMTW News 8 that, although counter protesters are expected to show up, Black Lives Matter will remain peaceful.

Some counter-protestors did show up, although in very small numbers, and occasionally exchanged insults with Black Lives Matter protestors, but the situation remained peaceful throughout the night.

At 7:00 pm, after dark, the group grew to a couple hundred, mostly masked, protestors. At one point during demonstrations, the group fractured, with one marching to City Hall, and the other remaining at the Portland Police Station, where they held a prolonged moment of silence in honor of Breonna Taylor.

“Breonna Taylor’s verdict came in this week and we believe that we have to show solidarity with Kentucky and we have to share more solidarity with the victims of police brutality here,” said Josh Wood, a protestor in Portland. “Today is about dismantling racist systems, today is about dismantling police as we know it because police hasn’t been working for black people for centuries.”

Around 8:00, the group made their way to Commercial Street, where they blocked traffic and maintained chants of “Say Her Name,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

BLM Maine and Police Chief Frank Clark also issued statements before the event.

Clark issued a statement Friday saying, in part, that organizers did not return phone calls about attempts to work with BLM Maine to ensure a peaceful and safe event. The statement added that police are concerned about traffic flow and threats made to officers on social media.

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Black Lives Matter Maine publicly responded to Clark’s statement about an hour later, claiming that the group did reach out to the police and that organizers are planning a peaceful event.

“Civil disobedience, such as blocking streets, is a tool used to gather the attention of elected officials. We are here, Black and ready to organize on behalf of Maine.” BLM Maine’s statement read.

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The protest is expected to wrap up before dark.