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Local officials condemn 'reprehensible' attack on Portland commissioner's home during protest

Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan was one of three members of the Portland City Council who voted against a proposed $18 million cut to the police bureau's budget.

PORTLAND, Ore — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and other city and county officials are condemning the actions of a group of demonstrators who broke a window and threw burning flares and paint-filled balloons at the home of Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan.

Ryan was one of three members of the Portland City Council who voted against a proposed $18 million cut to the Portland Police Bureau's (PPB) budget on Thursday.

In an interview on KGW's "Straight Talk" shortly after Ryan returned home to find his house vandalized, Ryan indicated that he was not surprised by the group's reaction. 

"It's been difficult to look at. The sad thing is I was expecting it and was prepared," he said. "My fiancé and I were safe. And we're in communication with our amazing neighbors on the block."

Ryan said the damage does not say much about the big picture in Portland as a whole, but it says a lot about a small group adding stress to a difficult time. 

Wheeler called the demonstrators’ actions “reprehensible” in a statement released Friday morning.

"Last night’s criminal destruction and attack on Commissioner Ryan’s home are reprehensible," Wheeler said. "Violence, criminal destruction and intimidation are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Those responsible must be found, investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I condemn anyone who uses violence to attempt to silence the voices of others."

Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who drew up the proposal to cut the PPB budget by $18 million, and voted for it, said in a statement Friday morning that demonstrators went too far.

"Last night a group of people vandalized Commissioner Ryan’s home following a tense city council hearing on the city's budget," Hardesty said. "I want to be clear: we can disagree and be upset over these issues, but I do not condone what took place at the Commissioner's home last night and those who engaged in the acts need to be held responsible. Fighting for systemic change is messy and complicated, but what shouldn't be complicated is recognizing when lines have been crossed, and that's what happened last night."

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said the group’s actions “can only be interpreted as messages of intimidation and harassment.”

“The deep anger and disappointment regarding the commissioner’s policy choices that are at the root of this group’s actions are understandable,” said Kafoury. "But it is both unacceptable and dangerous to channel that disappointment into directed attacks on an individual and where they live."

Portland Commissioner-elect Mingus Mapps, who will take office in January, planned a Friday afternoon news conference to condemn Thursday night’s attack on Ryan’s home.

Mapps released the following statement:

“Last night there was damage (to) Commissioner Ryan’s home and this is not the first night this has happened. We stand in solidarity against those choosing to tear down our city and continue to try and intimidate our elected officials. It is abhorrent that a City Commissioner and their family would be terrorized in their home. This violence and intimidation does not further the cause of racial justice and does not make Black and Brown people safer. This is a time when our community must come together, we must listen to one another and we call for peace."

KGW has reached out to commissioners Chloe Eudaly and Amanda Fritz for their reaction. We have not heard back.

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said the police bureau will do whatever it can to investigate the crimes committed against Ryan. 

"Commissioner Ryan is a City employee and member of the community," Lovell said in a tweet. "He deserves to be able to live and work in peace, free from violence, threats and intimidation."

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