On Sunday, May 31, a planned free speech
protest for Black Lives Matter began at 1 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse, with
speakers and then a march to end
at Alton Baker Park. Organizers urged peaceful, nonviolent participation. There were an estimated 7,000-10,000 people at the
Eugene Police was joined by Federal
Protective Service, and Eugene Springfield Fire EMS as partners to focus on
allowing a safe environment for the community to exercise their constitutional
rights. That focus included life safety, property, preventing criminal violent
activity, allowing peaceful march and the safe movement of pedestrian vehicle
traffic to and from the protest locations. It was also a goal to act
swiftly with appropriate resources to criminal behavior that would disrupt the
free speech or put lives or property into jeopardy.
Bridge was blocked in all directions when the crowd headed from the Federal
Building rally to Alton Baker Park spilled into the roadway around 2:11 p.m.
Eugene Police issued an advisory asking for the assistance of those on the
bridge to vacate it and for others in the area to not block it. Ferry Street
Bridge is an essential route for medical and fire personnel to local hospitals.
Blocking it creates a dangerous life and safety issue for all residents and
visitors to Eugene.
There were several
instances of people in vehicles who called to report being stuck on the roadway
and people knocking on their windows and a report of a victim in a vehicle
being attacked by a small group of subjects.
The Alton Baker
Park event, which concluded peacefully. Subsequently, EPD sent out a traffic
advisory at 4:30 p.m. as a large crowd from the event began walking in the
streets of downtown Eugene and then swelled to more than 1,000 protesters.
There was a
gunshot fired from a vehicle in the area of W. 11th and Olive Street
around 5 p.m. The driver called the incident in from Silver and River Road. In
the vehicle had been two adult males and a six-year-old child. They had been at
the tail end of the protesters and some of them began tapping on the vehicle’s
trunk. One of the vehicle’s occupants sprayed a substance at the people around
the vehicle and the other, Nathan Allen Huddleston, age 28, of Eugene, fired a
round from his handgun into the ground to disperse the crowd. Police met with
Huddleston and after an investigation arrested him on charges of Unlawful
Use Weapon, Disorderly Conduct and Reckless Endangering. Case 20-08982
At about 5:30
p.m., a Jeep was in the roadway where protesters were walking, and a man got
out of it displaying a semi-automatic rifle. This immediately incited nearby
protesters, who started to group around the man. One of the protest
participants quickly and effectively intervened along with a few others to keep
the crowd back from the man. The man left in the Jeep. This incident is
The crowd moved to
the federal courthouse.
within the streets, without a permit, is unlawful,” said Chief Chris Skinner.
“However, due to the manner in which the protesters conducted themselves, the
Eugene Police Department refrained from taking enforcement action. The
protesters were non-violent, caused no identified damage, and only disrupted
traffic for short periods of time. EPD appreciates and compliments those
involved with today’s event.”
At 6:27 p.m., the
City of Eugene announced a curfew for downtown Eugene on Sunday night.
City of Eugene is enacting a temporary nighttime curfew in downtown Eugene from
9:00 p.m. Sunday May 31 through 6:00 a.m. June 1.
Manager Pro Tem Sarah Medary implemented the curfew to ensure public safety
following incidents of violence and damage in Eugene.
curfew applies to the area from High Street to Monroe Street and from 14th
Avenue to 4th Avenue. During the hours of the curfew, people are not
allowed to travel on any public street or in any public place in that area.
Prohibited travel includes automobile, bicycle, foot, public transit and any
other mode of personal transportation.
illegal and unsafe behaviors extend beyond the designated area, the curfew area
will be extended citywide as necessary.
curfew does not apply to clearly identifiable and credentialed media, people seeking emergency care,
fleeing dangerous circumstances, sheltering in place, traveling to and from
employment or making commercial deliveries.
the city’s curfew order is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by a fine up
to $500 or confinement in jail up to 100 days, or both fine and imprisonment.