Ferguson protesters block traffic on highways, bridges in Portland; arrests made
PORTLAND (KPTV) — Large groups protesting the grand jury decision in Ferguson blocked highway traffic and bridges in Portland on Tuesday night and some arrests were made, FOX 12 Oregon reported.
The rally began at 4 p.m. at the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct at Southwest Third and Madison.
By that time, hundreds of people were already surrounding the building, while speakers addressed the crowd about Officer Darren Wilson not facing criminal charges in Missouri for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The rally was organized by the Albina Ministerial Alliance.
By 5 p.m., the large crowd had begun to march around downtown Portland. The protesters were flanked by police officers and there were no immediate reports of any problems involving the group.
Police initially described the march as peaceful. However, by Tuesday evening, police reported that arrests had been made, but an exact number was not available.
Officers said someone in the protest group group assaulted a driver on Southeast Grand Avenue, but the driver was not seriously injured.
At around 7 p.m., a large group of protesters had stopped and blocked traffic at the intersection of East Burnside and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A short time later, people were seen getting on the northbound Interstate 5 ramp to Interstate 84.
The Oregon Department of Transportation temporarily shut down that ramp Tuesday evening, while police in riot gear blocked access to the highway.
Drivers were told to avoid the I-5 central core area between the Marquam Bridge and Fremont Bridge on Tuesday night and instead take I-405 north.
ODOT reported that protesters had walked directly on I-5 and I-84.
TriMet also reported that MAX lines and more than a dozen bus lines were experiencing major delays due to the demonstrations.