About 100 people gathered at Esther Short Park and then marched throughout downtown Vancouver on Saturday in support of Kevin Peterson Jr. and his family.
Peterson, a 21-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by three Clark County deputies as he ran, armed with a handgun, from a planned drug sale of Xanax pills between him and a confidential informant outside a Quality Inn motel in Hazel Dell on the evening of Oct. 29.
Earlier this month, an outside prosecutor’s office tasked with reviewing the shooting found the officers’ use of deadly force was justified and lawful.
A post about Saturday’s event — which lasted about four hours — read: “We didn’t forget. Charge the police for the murder of Kevin Peterson Jr.”
The event appeared to be peaceful, and organizers encouraged those in attendance to continue to show support for Peterson’s family, including through donations.
Marchers could be heard yelling, “We want justice for who? Kevin Peterson!”
Some in attendance were seen with firearms, seemingly guarding the group. People in vehicles and on motorcycles helped block off streets as the marchers moved along their route. Officers from the Vancouver and Camas police departments and Clark County Sheriff’s Office also helped to temporarily block streets for the marchers and direct traffic.
NAACP Vancouver, which shared videos of the park gathering and march on its Facebook page, described the event as peaceful and healing.
In March, Peterson’s family filed a tort claim for wrongful death against Clark County, alleging Peterson was shot in the back as he ran away. An attorney representing the family previously told The Columbian they plan to file a lawsuit this fall.