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Kevin Peterson march draws hundreds to Hazel Dell

Marchers briefly disrupt traffic on Highway 99, N.E. 78th St.

By , Columbian Sports Editor
Published:
3 Photos
A few hundred protesters march down Northeast 78th Street in Hazel Dell, the latest in a string of demonstrations since Kevin E. Peterson Jr. was fatally shot by police on Oct. 29.
A few hundred protesters march down Northeast 78th Street in Hazel Dell, the latest in a string of demonstrations since Kevin E. Peterson Jr. was fatally shot by police on Oct. 29. Micah Rice/The Columbian Photo Gallery

A march in memory of Kevin E. Peterson Jr. drew a few hundred protesters and briefly disrupted traffic in Hazel Dell on Sunday afternoon.

The event was the latest in a series of demonstrations since Peterson, a 21-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies during a drug bust on Oct. 29.

The march, which also drew Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters from Portland, began near Highway 99 by the spot where Peterson was shot.

The procession, which included a drum line and a truck-mounted sound system, made its way along side streets to a nondescript cul-de-sac off Northeast 78th Street about a mile away. There, speakers railed against police brutality, systemic racism and the historic treatment the area’s Native American population.

One speaker noted that spot was chosen because it’s near where Carlos M. Hunter, a 43-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by Vancouver Police detectives on March 7, 2019. An investigation found police acted lawfully in that shooting.

The march then retraced its route to the starting point, briefly blocking traffic on 78th Street. Traffic was also disrupted on Highway 99 near the U.S. Bank by where Peterson was shot.

As was the case at a smaller BLM protest in Vancouver last weekend, some in the crowd openly carried firearms.

About two dozen “Back the Blue” counterprotesters stood in a parking lot two blocks away from the march’s starting point. The march’s organizers instructed participants to ignore the counterprotesters and no clashes occurred.

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