PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A second day of protests over police treatment of people of color swelled to more than 1,000 demonstrators who blocked roads and engaged in a tense standoff with officers. Several people were arrested.
The arrests were for failure to disperse Monday evening after police in riot gear cleared a crowd near the police headquarters.
The protest was much larger than a demonstration Sunday that drew 300 people. On Monday, the demonstration started with about 500 people wearing black clothing and masks that chanted while walking down Commercial Street.
The protest grew as the group approached the police station. Protesters laid down on the street with their hands behind their back, as if handcuffed, while chanting, “I can’t breathe.”
Things grew heated when police began pushing the crowd back. Protesters threw water bottles at the officers.
Protests have spread across the country in response to the death of George Floyd after a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him down and pressed his neck with his knee as the man pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
Portland Police Chief Frank Clark told the Portland Press Herald that he was willing to meet with organizers. “We want to know what their concerns are. We want to work with them and work through things to have a better understanding,” he said.
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