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Hundreds In Portland Protest George Floyd's Death, Demand To Meet With Police Chief

Caitlin Troutman
Maine Public
At a rally in Portland Sunday, protesters of George Floyd's death gather on the steps of the Portland Police Department..

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday in the streets of Portland near the Portland Police station to protest police brutality in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The group began the demonstration at City Hall before moving to the police station. There, they packed the steps and filled the street in front of the station, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace.”

Credit Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public
Demonstrators in Portland raise their fists during a rally to protest the death of George Floyd.

Protesters demanded to speak to Portland Police Chief Frank Clark, with the crowd erupting in chants of “We want the chief.” Uniformed officers clad in masks stood at the top of the steps, blocking protesters from the building's entrance, as some some of the rally-goers addressed the issue of police brutality.

"Black kids, they deserve to not live in trauma," said one unidentified protester. "They deserve to have a chance like white kids."

Protester Sagda Sondergaard said the protests are part of building a movement against police brutality.
"Every time we've cried for injustice, it gets brushed under the table," she said, "and by doing this, they'll hear us, they'll hear our roars, they'll hear our screams, and they'll actually listen to us."

Police Chief Frank Clark did not make an appearance.

Members of the crowd then went to the intersection of Franklin and Middle streets, where they linked arms and created a traffic blockade. At one point, the protesters staged a "die in," laying down in the street with their hands held behind their backs chanting “I can’t breathe,” a reference to Floyd's last words.

Credit Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public
At a rally in Portland Sunday, protesters lie down in the street in a "die-in" to call attention to George Floyd's death.

Throughout the afternoon, segments of protesters broke off and created blockades at various intersections along Middle and Franklin streets, forcing cars to turn around.

The event was one of several held across the nation to protest the deaths of black people at the hands of police officers. More protests are expected in Maine later this week.