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Notable Portland community members join chorus for end to downtown destruction

At the mayor's news conference, some community members put the focus and responsibility on the people causing the damage.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Monday's virtual briefing on recent rioting and destruction started with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, followed by the acting U.S. attorney for Oregon, the Multnomah County sheriff and Portland deputy police chief, who are all, notably, white men.

But they were joined by three notable community leaders who had powerful things to say about their city. Those leaders included Portland basketball icon Terry Porter.

“I'm speaking out today as someone who loves Portlanders and as someone who is deeply concerned about the future of our city,” said former Trail Blazer Terry Porter.

Porter and others are concerned because of the damage Portland is enduring. Former Oregon Senator Avel Gordly said the damage is at the hands of misguided anarchists “who reject civility … and instead intentionally create mayhem through criminally destructive behavior tearing up our city. And this must stop.”

The community leaders did not directly address the tactic of kettling, where police corral a large group of people.

RELATED: Mayor Wheeler says he supports ‘kettling’ tactic by Portland police

They were there to were to support the mayor's office and the increased effort to stop the violence and destruction. They also said they support continued peaceful protests like a vigil for Breonna Taylor over the weekend, along with the vast majority of true Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

“But those that continue to cause destruction and vandalize our small businesses in our great city, our beautiful city, I have a message: This is not what the Black Lives movement is about,” said Porter.

“It is definitely your constitutional right to march and protest when you think your government is not listening, but it is certainly not your right to create violence and destruction upon merchants and our once beautiful city,” said former Oregon State Senator Marjorie Carter, who added, “Please stop it today.”

RELATED: Civil rights groups call for federal investigation into Portland Police Bureau's use of 'kettling'

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