Portland residents ‘angry’ as protests, shootings roil city

Crime

Portland Police Association said staffing levels need to be increased

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Protests in the Pearl District and a number of shootings throughout Portland kept police busy all weekend — and frustrated residents throughout the city.

The shootings, which left two people dead, happened at reasonably the same time as the destructive demonstration in the Pearl District that ostensibly was a response to the Biden immigration policies, police brutality and racism.

There were also fights between protesters and onlookers Saturday night. Residents in the Pearl District said they are fed up with demonstrators vandalizing businesses and causing destruction.

“We want this stuff to stop. They don’t have the right to damage our property and scare people so they’re afraid,” said Pearl District resident Jane Orlowski. “We would like police here to be protecting our property.”

Pearl District resident Jane Orlowski is “very angry” about the ongoing protests in the city and in her neighborhood, March 1, 2021 (KOIN)

Orlowski said these protests have been going on for nearly a year “and we are so tired of it.”

“We don’t know why they’re in our neighborhood, what their point is. We see shops being boarded up again after they’ve just unboarded recently. And these small little businesses, they can’t afford this.”

Two people were arrested at the protests. In a statement to KOIN 6 News, PPB said:

“Police response was constrained by multiple shooting incidents happening across the city, limiting the officers available to address the criminal behavior in the protest.”

One of those incidents was the shooting at the Acropolis Steakhouse that left two people dead.

The Acropolis strip club in the 8300 block of SE McLoughlin Boulevard, March 1, 2021 (KOIN)

PPA President Brian Hunzeker said staffing levels for police need to be higher.

“The officers were dealing with major incidents throughout the city that affect the community in such a negative way. Families are being hurt, people are dying,” Hunzeker told KOIN 6 News. “And then, when we have an outrageous demonstration in Portland, they’re destroying community businesses, destroying their windows, we don’t have the resources to get there.”

Jane Orlowski shared the sentiment of many in the city.

“It makes me furious. We are all very, very angry.”

The Urban Pantry in Portland’s Pearl District is boarded up after a protest a few nights before, March 1, 2021 (KOIN)

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