A group of 18 people are arrested for obstructing a public way on Commercial St., during a Black Lives Matter protest on Friday at Old Port in Portland, Maine .
According to WCSH in Portland, the Portland Racial Justic Congress had three major demands for Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuk - to acknowledge the nation-wide tensions between police officers and people of color, a promist that officers would reach out and assure the people of Portland that police violence seen lately in other parts of the country would not happen here, and that officers start wearing body cameras while on duty.
These demands were the basis of what turned a peaceful protest into a disruptive one. The group of 18 people arrested attempted to block a car by linking arms. They pushed against the vehicle as it tried to drive down the street. At that point, police stepped in.
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Earlier on Friday, Chief Sauschauck spoke told the media that his department is having internal conversations about how to make sure that officer-involved shootings similar to the ones in Louisiana and Minnesota don't happen in Portland.
Representatives from the Portland Racial Justice Committee say they're fearful of what may happen and that they want more of a role in overseeing police policy. Chief Sauschuck says there is a subcommittee that has been around for about 15 years.
WCSH reports that Chief Sauschuck told its NEWS CENTER that he would be willing to have a converation with the group of protestors about their concern, but that no one has reached out to him.