Medford Protest Against Police Brutality Remains Nonviolent
Demonstrators chanted the names of black people killed by police in recent years, as well as Floyd’s last words before he died while a police officer kneeled on his neck: “I can’t breathe.”
Stacy Hoffman of Medford said she was just driving by when she saw the crowd and decided to stop.
“I’m a black woman living in Medford, Oregon,” Hoffman said. “When people say, ‘Racism doesn’t exist,” or, ‘I don’t see color.’ No, there are lots of people here that do. And yes I do have difficulties, that’s part of why I march on MLK day.”
Luis Sanchez was standing alone on the outskirts of the crowd.
“As a person of color, to be present to be heard, to finally have a moment to speak out — That’s why I’m quiet, I guess. So many people are hurt by this,” he said. “It’s generations and generations of hurt and pain.”
Demonstrators remained peaceful, but tensions rose later in the evening.
Several frustrated drivers pushed through the crowds that were blocking streets, and one aggressively drove through protesters, possibly injuring someone. Medford Police say they’re investigating that incident. They also arrested a motorist who pushed his car through protesters in the street while waving a handgun.
A couple of dozen armed civilians who declined to identify themselves patrolled downtown Medford most of the night. They said they were protecting businesses, although there appears to have been no vandalism or looting by protesters.
This is the largest rally I've ever seen in the Rogue Valley. Completely peaceful protest in Medford so far. There's a lot of passion and energy. pic.twitter.com/8sfcaZDsYD— April Ehrlich (@AprilEhrlich) June 1, 2020
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