There was a
protest around noon today, that gathered at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza.
Eugene Police sent out a traffic advisory for the
area of Pearl to Willamette and Broadway to 7th to facilitate
safety for pedestrian traffic in the area. These streets had become congested
with pedestrians headed toward the plaza, which quickly filled with an
estimated 1,200 people.
A march with about
1,500 people began from the free speech plaza around 1:40 p.m. The group left
the free speech plaza and marched to UO campus’ Deady Hall, where they stayed
for a period of time and most dispersed from that location. There was a group
of about 300 continuing to march.
EPD put out
another traffic advisory at 3:10 p.m., when that group of protesters came down
County Club Road to rally in front of the Eugene Police headquarters. The
protesters had a demonstration and rally. There were speeches and participants
held signage. They also taped posters and fliers to the boards over the front
windows, or applied spray paint, where earlier in the day a community group had
written messages of care for officers and taped up hearts.
protest, several individuals emerged with different motivations and vandalized
a portion of the Eugene Police Headquarters building front with anti-police
“There is a
difference between the free speech rally of the larger group of protesters we
saw, and the few individuals who came to deface our police building,” said
Chief Chris Skinner. “It is important that people know the difference. The larger
Black Lives Matter protest group has been self-regulating, careful with traffic
and holding rallies. Out of respect for the Black Lives Matter protesters and
to avoid disrupting the larger, lawful, group, we refrained from taking any
action to contact the unidentified individuals committing criminal acts
against our police facility. I am disappointed with the actions of the few who
came with ill intent and we will investigate this incident.”
Works immediately came out to repair this damage once the crowd left at about 4
p.m. Some protesters went downtown for a short time, before dispersing at about