Vandalism ‘not personal,’ but businesses have had enough

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27 businesses vandalized by 'mob' on Friday night

PORTLAND, Ore (KOIN) — Brett Baumgarte knows the vandalism Point S Tires and 26 other businesses experienced Friday night was not personal. But it’s still something all the businesses have to deal with.

The Northeast Portland businesses were tagged with graffiti and had their windows broken by what Portland police called a “mob” of people moving through, spray painting “BLM” and “Tete Gulley” on the sides of buildings.

Vandals smashed windows and tagged graffiti at the Whole Foods at NE 43rd and Sandy in Portland, November 20, 2020 (KOIN)

Baumgarte said they were able to clean up the graffiti in a few hours, but other businesses weren’t as fortunate.

“I know it’s not personal. We’re just a canvas for people trying to express themselves, and I’m thankful that we didn’t get any further destruction,” he said. “A lot of places got it a lot worse than we did.”

Brett Baumgarte of Point S Tires in Northeast Portland talks about the vandalism that hit the area businesses, November 23, 2020 (KOIN)

Two separate groups of people vandalized buildings across Portland. One group reportedly dressed in black and wore spray-painted helmets gathered outside of the Mexican Consulate on SW 12th Avenue before moving through the streets, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

A separate group of nearly 50 people gathered at NE Halsey Street and NE 52nd Avenue before moving to NE 43rd Avenue and NE Sandy Boulevard. As the group marched southwest down NE Sandy, they vandalized several businesses.

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell denounced the violence, saying in part, “These vandals terrorized workers that were inside as the mob shattered large windows, and hurt businesses that are already struggling right now.”

On Monday’s edition of AM Extra, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler addressed the recent spurts of nightly vandalism happening in different parts of the city.

Wheeler was quick to acknowledge the repeated incidents were not associated with the Black Lives Matter protests nor demonstrations calling for police reform.

“Let’s be clear, these are not protesters and they’re not engaged in protests,” said Wheeler. “They are criminals and they are vandalizing things. It has got to come to an end, I absolutely denounce that kind of violence.”

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