First Responders

Calm After Chauvin Verdict; Portland Activists Call Out ‘Predatory Opportunists’

April 21, 2021Matt White
bright moon

A bright moon, scores of cops and National Guard soldiers, and an eerie silence characterized Minneapolis in the hours after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of killing George Floyd. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

Nearly six hours after Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in a Minneapolis courthouse, a Coffee or Die Magazine reporter stationed downtown posted a message for editors awaiting a report: “Ghost town.”

Despite high tensions and a buildup of manpower, there was little violence in Minneapolis and across the nation after the Chauvin verdict, which found the former police officer guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd last May. Protests were small and largely peaceful in many cities, with few arrests.

Minneapolis after Chauvin verdict
A flag flies in downtown Minneapolis after the Derek Chauvin verdict Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

At least five National Guard units were called up in anticipation of street violence after the verdict. Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Washington, DC, all put Guard units on notice of a call-up, though it was unclear if any deployed by Tuesday night.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department would open a wide investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department to determine if the department “engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.” The department has faced criticism and lawsuits over discriminatory policing.

A police shooting of a teenage girl in Columbus, Ohio, led to clashes between protesters and police there. But police rushed to release officer body-cam video that showed the girl killed was attacking a second girl with a knife when she was shot.

Minneapolis after Chauvin verdict
Graffiti on barrier walls in downtown Minneapolis, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

Police in Portland, Oregon, which has seen some of the nation’s most violent protests since Floyd’s death nearly a year ago, made two arrests just after 10 p.m. A group of 60 protesters, police said, were spray-painting buildings and broke several windows downtown.

The Oregonian published a video of a fight between protesters and police in which a protester punched a police officer, knocking him off of his bicycle.

Also in Portland, We Out Here Magazine released an open letter to the “Portland Protest Community” that called out violent protesters as being “both well-meaning allies and predatory opportunists.” The letter was signed by dozens of musicians, writers, and activists.

“As Black Oregonians concerned with the ongoing lack of accountability for the police violence that continues to disproportionately impact Black communities, the disabled, those with mental illness, the unhoused, and other marginalized people, it is important for us to stand in solidarity and state our shared values,” the letter said. “Actions that neither increase solidarity nor broadcast purpose while making the lives of local Black communities more difficult are not acceptable.”

A wide range of police chiefs, departments, and unions posted reactions on social media channels. Messages were generally muted but supportive of the verdict, with calls for community work and peaceful demonstrations.

Read Next: WATCH: Police Veteran Analyzes Adam Toledo Shooting in Chicago

Matt White
Matt White

Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
US: War Crimes on All Sides in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict

The Biden administration announced Monday that it has determined all sides in the brutal conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

March 20, 2023Associated Press
military pilots cancer rates
Higher Cancer Rates Found in Military Pilots, Ground Crews

In its yearlong study of almost 900,000 service members who flew on or worked on military aircraft b...

March 20, 2023Associated Press
whiskey pour
Veterans Lead the Way Among America’s Growing Craft Distilleries

American veterans are taking the lessons they learned in the military and changing the craft distilling industry.

March 20, 2023Mac Caltrider
military suicide veteran suicide
Military Moves To Cut Suicides, But Defers Action on Guns

In a memo released Thursday, Austin called for the establishment of a suicide prevention working gro...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
us military drills japan-south korea
US, Partners Stage Military Drills Amid Japan-South Korea Talks

The Sea Dragon 23 exercises that started on Wednesday will culminate in more than 270 hours of in-fl...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
leo jenkins a word like god
‘A Word Like God’: New Book From Army Ranger Leo Jenkins

In his latest poetry collection, Ranger-turned-writer Leo Jenkins turns away from war to explore cosmic themes of faith, fatherhood, and art.

March 16, 2023Mac Caltrider
us drone
Pentagon Video Shows Russian Jet Dumping Fuel on US Drone

The Pentagon on Thursday released video of what it said was a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on a ...

March 16, 2023Associated Press
10th Mountain Division
‘Climb to Glory’ — A History of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division

From the mountains of Italy to the mountains of Afghanistan, the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division built its legendary reputation by fighting in some of the most inhospitable places in the world.

March 16, 2023Matt Fratus
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved