PORTLAND, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown called a last-minute press briefing on Monday afternooon in the wake of protests in Portland, around the state, and across the nation sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. In Portland and Eugene, some of those protests ended with property destruction and looting.
"This is a very difficult time for our state and the entire nation," Brown said. "Millions of people have raised their voices across the country over the weekend in a collective cry of anguish and anger. The killing of George Floyd is a stain on this country."
Brown said that there were several peaceful protests across the city of Portland over the weekend, consisting of thousands — but late at night "much smaller groups" broke away from the main protests and committed those acts of vandalism.
Following the protests in Portland, Governor Brown said on Monday that she had approved reinforcements for the Portland Police Bureau — 100 troopers from Oregon State Police, and 50 members of the Oregon National Guard in a "support function only." Brown said that the Guard troops would not be used to hold the line for any potential protests and would not be armed.
Brown said that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler had repeatedly asked for National Guard mobilization over the weekend, but Brown had declined. Instead, Oregon State Police deployed additional officers to help Portland Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
Fifty National Guard members were on standby Sunday night, but their presence was ultimately not needed.
Wheeler renewed his request for Guard troops on Monday, and Brown agreed to the influx of state troopers and logistical support from the National Guard.