The tensions led to riots Friday night after a vigil for a black man who was shot to death by police in a city near Portland, Oregon, in southwestern Washington state.
Attendees at the memorial service gathered in Hazel Dell, an unincorporated area of Vancouver, Washington, where family and friends said 21-year-old Kevin E. Peterson Jr. was shot Thursday night. The city is about 12 miles (19 kilometers) north of Portland.
Hundreds of people participated in the vigil on Friday, some holding signs that read “Honk for the lives of black people. The silence of the whites is violence ”and“ Shout your name ”.
Nearby there were tensions between protesters on the left and right. Videos recorded by reporters in a parking lot showed the two groups yelling at each other. In addition, some armed protesters gathered near a building that journalists were told they were guarding.
The crowd eventually dispersed near the vigil site, but a group of hundreds of people later marched through downtown Vancouver. Glass was smashed, flags were burned and federal agents equipped with riot gear surrounded a building, warning protesters that breaking into federal property would be subject to arrest.
The authorities declared the assembly illegal and ordered the participants to disperse. At least one person appeared to be arrested, according to a video posted online by a reporter.
In a statement, Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins said a joint county-city drug enforcement force was conducting an investigation shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday and pursued a man until the parking lot of a bank, where he opened fire on the authorities. A firearm was found at the scene, Atkins said.
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