George Washington statue knocked over in Portland, draped in US flag

The head of a George Washington statue in Portland, Oregon was draped in the American flag, lit on fire, and then the entire bronze effigy was toppled by a group of demonstrators in an overnight protest Thursday.

Opposers of the statue pointed to the fact that America's first president owned slaves.

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Initially, a group of 20 people met at the statue around 10 p.m. and wrapped Washington's head in the American flag before lighting it on fire, according to reports by KOIN 6 News.

Over time, the crew of demonstrators grew larger, until there were enough people to knock the statue over.

The event took place on the eve of Juneteenth and ended an otherwise peaceful day of demonstrations throughout the city. Protesters have been gathering for 21 days straight to condemn police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd died in police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes.

Several groups banded together to host an event at the Jefferson High School to recount stories of racism they experienced in the community.

Some demonstrators congregated outside of the Justice Center but most left before midnight, according to local reports.

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Another large group of protesters marched through downtown Portland, eventually gathering outside of Mayor Ted Wheeler's home before they were cleared away by police. Demonstraters were furious about a $16 million cut to the police department's budget, which passed earlier in the day, but that protesters say falls short of the demanded $50 million.