Protests calling for the end of police brutality and advocating for racial justice continued in Portland on the evening of Sept. 30 to commemorate the second anniversary of Patrick Kimmons’ death, who was fatally shot by Portland Police officers in 2018.
The protest marked 124 days since large-scale protests began in Portland, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Kimmons, a Black man and a father of three children, was shot nine times by PPB on Sept. 30, 2018. He was 27-years-old. The two Portland officers involved in the fatal shooting were later cleared of wrongdoing when a grand jury ruled that the officers were justified in their use of deadly force.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Sept. 30 and marched through downtown Portland to SW Harvey Milk St., where organizers had set up a temporary memorial.
The memorial, commemorating the two-year anniversary of Kimmons’ death, was located in the same spot where police shot and killed him.
Upon arriving at the memorial, the crowd was greeted by several mutual aid stations, where community members provided free food and drinks, including lasagna, burritos and sandwiches. Some people began to pass around candles and place them beneath the temporary memorial, while others painted the name “Kimmons” along SW Harvey Milk Street.
Following a moment of silence and a land acknowledgement, a series of speeches sustained for more than two hours. The final speaker of the night was Letha Winston, Kimmons’ mother. She spoke to the crowd about her son, nicknamed Pat Pat, while surrounded by family members.
She described the devastating night when her son died, finding her son dead at the hospital and the trauma that it caused to her family. She also touched on more fond memories. “My son was a good man, he took care of his kids,” she said.
Winston has held a weekly protest calling for the reopening of her son’s case and has been a frequent speaker at other protests in Portland since the killing of George Floyd. She encouraged the crowd to continue their work for Black lives and racial justice. “We need to keep 10 toes to the pavement,” she said.
The night ended with an impromptu performance by various musicians from the Portland area at the corner of SW Fourth Ave., where a stage lined with the words “Patrick Kimmons” was set up.
A crowd of about 100 people looked on and danced and cheered as the artists finished the night. Local artist and rapper, Norf Jordan, performed a piece he wrote about his personal experiences throughout Portland’s 120 plus days of protesting.
The demonstrations in downtown Portland ended peacefully, without any police interaction.
However, the night of memorial and celebration for Kimmons comes as the city reckons with the impacts of the federal deputization of 56 Portland police officers. The officers were deputized by the U.S. Marshal’s Service prior to the right-wing demonstration on Sept. 26 and are valid through the end of 2020. The designation allows Portland police officers to act as federal marshals and conduct arrests for federal crime instead of a city or state offense, thus carrying a steeper sentence.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has requested for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon to revoke the deputizations now that the threat of violence from the right-wing demonstrations have passed. The U.S. Marshal’s Office and the U.S. Attorney for Oregon have since put out a statement saying that the deputization will not be canceled.