"This is why we kneel."
Kelsie Turner — related not by blood but through the relationship his sister had with a man shot to death by Portland Police — joined about 100 activists, friends and family members to honor and mourn the life of Patrick Kimmons.
"He loved his family, he loved his friends — raising my nephews, he was a good dude," said Turner during the vigil at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 1 in downtown Portland. "He ran for the exact reason he was murdered for. He was scared for his life."
Patrick Tyrone Kimmons, a 27-year-old Portland resident, was killed in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 30, in a parking lot at the corner of Southwest 4th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street. Demonstrators blocked off the same street on Monday, punctuating the evening commute with chants of "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice! No Peace!"
Central Precinct officers say they were patrolling downtown when they came upon a shooting that had just injured two people. While the two victims apparently made their own way to a local hospital, the officers opened fire on Kimmons, killing him as he fled the scene. A GoFundMe for the family is available here.
Family members said a police sergeant informed them that Kimmons, who they knew as Pat Pat, had been shot 16 times. Police say they found multiple guns at the scene, including one near Kimmons' body. Officers have also obtained a surveillance video that has not yet been released to the public.
"This is a multilayer investigation involving numerous parties," a police spokeswoman wrote. "The Police Bureau is sensitive to the fact a life was lost, and many people from the Portland community are impacted, including family, community partners, and officers."
The officers who opened fire have been identified as Sgt. Garry Britt, a 10-year veteran of the Bureau, and Officer Jeffrey Livingston, who joined the force 1.5 years ago. They remain on paid administrative leave, and were reportedly interviewed about the shooting on Monday. Two other officers witnessed the shooting, as well as many community members.
In a statement, Mayor Ted Wheeler said he was committed to the timely release of information and that his "thoughts" were with those affected by the shooting.
"In the coming days and weeks, many will rightly have questions about what happened. These questions are important; the answers are important," he said.
Kimmons had a troubled history that included surviving a gunshot wound during a shootout that was later deemed gang-related. His girlfriend, Sequoia Turner, said she had often worried more about dangers posed by the street than from police.
"He had a past, but we were working toward our future and our kids were our everything," she said. "He never experienced real love until we had our kids, you know. Trying to set an example that he wasn't given was hard. But we worked together."
Sequoia Turner, 25, said she works 12 to 15 hour days as a hairdresser, but noted that Kimmons was always ready to pick up their two kids: six-year-old Patrick III and three-year-old Royal. They met when she was 16 and he was 17. Kimmons also had an eight-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
Police detectives continue to investigate, and a Multnomah County grand jury will decide whether to file charges against the involved officers. But as she waits for answers that may be revealed by video footage, Sequoia Turner says she can't understand why police didn't use less lethal force that night.
"I think they need better training," she said. "This is the first step to see if they even care to change and interact with us."
Kimmons held down jobs as a baker and at warehouses to support his family. Pamela Morgan, his aunt, praised his spirit as a "businessman" who supported his family.
"I don't think he should have been shot like that," she said. "He loved life."
"We need justice," said Sherri Norman, the grandmother to his children.