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Protesters interrupt Hales at 2015 Community Summit

About a dozen Hands Up, Don't Shoot protesters presented Mayor Charlie Hales with letters on Saturday saying they intend to sue the city because police violated their constitutional rights during a November demonstration.

The protesters, led by community organizer Teresa Raiford, temporarily interrupted Hales during a question-and-answer session at the city-sponsored 2015 Community Summit at the Ambridge Events Center, 1333 N.E. MLK Blvd. Raiford explained she and other demonstrators believe their rights were violated during a Nov. 29, 2014, demonstration against police killings of minorities in Ferguson and New York.

Hales accepted the letter and chatted briefly with Raiford, who led the protesters in several chants before they left the room where he was speaking. Raiford and the others briefly rallied outside the center before walking away. It was unclear whether the letters, which were identical with blanks for people to write in their names, constituted tort claim notices required for lawsuit against governments.

The sudden appearance by the protesters was the first time police accountability issues had been raised during Hale's session, which mostly focused on planning and livability issues. After the protesters left, Hales asked the approximately 60 people remaining in the room if anyone had any questions about the police. No one did, and the discussion continued with questions on density and affordable housing.

The day long summit was organized by the city's Office of Neighborhood Involvement. Over 500 people registered for it. The schedule included a series of workshop on issues ranging from residential demolitions to oil train shipments though Portland and effective community organizing.

The Portland Tribune will have more on the summit in Tuesday's issue.

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