Portland police chief, mayor urge for calm during Black Lives Matter protest Saturday

Portland’s police chief and mayor called for calm Saturday during a planned Black Lives Matter protest in the city.The protest is in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month.Organizers changed the location to outside of Portland City Hall to accommodate the expected crowd. The protest is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.Police Chief Frank Clark said there has been troubling social media activity related to the protest. Organizers said on Facebook that they have received threats of violence from people opposed to the protest.Clark said he is aware of claims there will be armed counter-protesters. He said armed civilians will cause confusion and distraction for police. “To the protesters and counter-protesters, while we respect your right to peacefully and lawfully protest, leave your guns and bad intentions at home,” Clark said.Clark said that could put the public and officers at risk and ask counter-protesters to let police do their job. Clark and Mayor Kate Snyder called for calm.”Do not put my officers in the position of reacting to possible threats, violence or criminal acts and simply go home or peacefully when the event ends,” Clark said.Clark said his department has been in contact with protesters and said the city is committed to working with them to protect their First Amendment right to protest.He said the protest will cause traffic issues in parts of the city, including Franklin Street, Saturday evening.”I do want to assure the public that your police force stands prepared to react and respond to any emergency, and will not tolerate violence towards our community or its police officers. That said, the goal here is to lower the temperature and simply ask for calm,” Clark said.

Portland’s police chief and mayor called for calm Saturday during a planned Black Lives Matter protest in the city.

The protest is in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month.

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Organizers changed the location to outside of Portland City Hall to accommodate the expected crowd. The protest is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

Police Chief Frank Clark said there has been troubling social media activity related to the protest.

Organizers said on Facebook that they have received threats of violence from people opposed to the protest.

Clark said he is aware of claims there will be armed counter-protesters. He said armed civilians will cause confusion and distraction for police.

“To the protesters and counter-protesters, while we respect your right to peacefully and lawfully protest, leave your guns and bad intentions at home,” Clark said.

Clark said that could put the public and officers at risk and ask counter-protesters to let police do their job.

Clark and Mayor Kate Snyder called for calm.

“Do not put my officers in the position of reacting to possible threats, violence or criminal acts and simply go home or peacefully when the event ends,” Clark said.

Clark said his department has been in contact with protesters and said the city is committed to working with them to protect their First Amendment right to protest.

He said the protest will cause traffic issues in parts of the city, including Franklin Street, Saturday evening.

“I do want to assure the public that your police force stands prepared to react and respond to any emergency, and will not tolerate violence towards our community or its police officers. That said, the goal here is to lower the temperature and simply ask for calm,” Clark said.