PORTLAND, Ore — On Sunday, a group of people gathered outside the East Police Precinct in Southeast Portland to say they’ve had enough with the violence in their neighborhood.
A flyer said the group is made up of “families, residents, community members, business owners, normal people” who are calling on city leaders to take action and end the rioting and destruction in Portland.
Dan Guts organized the event that brought in residents calling on city leaders to take action."They are being very passive, we need them to step up and actually help our communities and do something put action behind words," said Guts.
The group expressed support for peaceful protests and the Black Lives Matter movement but not destruction.
Erica Hurley with Portland Police came out a few times to speak with residents. She says some of the challenges they face with riots comes down to manpower. "We are doing the best we can, " said Hurley "but again we have very,very limited resources and the numbers of officers to do that." Hurley says the police is open to change and have even tried to speak with some of the people causing damage, to no avail. " They aren't here to try to create reform, they're not here to change." And with that said, residents had one one last plea to city leaders: "please help us, don't be afraid,stand u, do the right thing and protect our communities," said Guts.
Earlier in the week, the East Precinct was the site of chaotic demonstrations where violence and confrontations with police and protesters played out.
Wednesday nights protest prompted a response from Portland’s Mayor and chief of police.
“You are attempting to commit murder,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a news conference Thursday in response to a small group of masked people trying to light the East Precinct on fire with officers inside.
Hundreds came out to the again on Thursday night where they lit fires and threw large rocks, glass bottles, fireworks and paint at officers.