PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A crowd of people smashed windows and vandalized several buildings Monday night in Northeast Portland, including the Blazers Boys & Girls Club.
Portland police declared an unlawful assembly shortly after a “direct action” march got underway along NE Martin Luther King Boulevard. Two people were arrested for riot and criminal mischief — both of which are felony charges.
Terry Johnson, the CEO of the Blazers Boys & Girls Club, said the crowd caused roughly $20,000 in damage to the center many underserved children rely upon. He said 60% of the families served by the center are people of color. Johnson told KOIN 6 he’s frustrated the center had to close on Tuesday. He called the actions of the protesters “contradictory” and said the destruction convolutes their message.
“They’re hurting the kids who are being impacted by social injustice, the very thing that people are protesting about,” Johnson said. “When they disrupt our programming, then they’re perpetuating that harm that’s happening because of the reform that’s needed in our country.”
Johnson has called on protesters to remain peaceful. He said demonstrations should focus on building the community up, not tearing it down.
The Portland Trail Blazers have reached out to help cover some of the repair costs, Johnson said. He thanked those in the community who have offered their support.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s office said it’s working with law enforcement to identify and prosecute the person who damaged the Blazers Boys & Girls Club. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau at 503.823.3333.