The police union in Portland, Oregon, is abandoning its building after more than a year of vandalism, arson and other attacks.
Daryl Turner, executive director of the Portland Police Association, explained the decision in a post on the union’s Facebook page.
In his post, he noted that the building the union had used for the past six years “had previously housed a card room with a reputation of parties, illegal drug use; and the remnants of late-night partying were often left on neighborhood streets and sidewalks.”
“The neighbors welcomed us and were glad to have the police union and police cars there. The community supported us and dropped by to say hello,” Turner wrote. “Time and again we heard from folks that they felt safer in the neighborhood and were thankful to have things cleaned up.”
Everything changed last year, he noted, as Portland became the site for months of rioting, vandalism, arson and vicious anti-police protests. The building became a target.
WARNING: The following social media posts contain vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
Portland: Pleas from the police for calm were ignored by #antifa. They called for another day of rioting. Antifa marched to the boarded-up police union & set it on fire again. This follows arson attacks in past week on local @icegov & a police station. pic.twitter.com/Ylim8pgl2M
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 14, 2021
“Day 93 we won’t stop”
On 28–29 Aug, antifa in Portland rioted outside the Portland Police union building again. They torched the front of the building using an accelerant. They shut down the road by setting dumpsters on fire in the middle of the street. https://t.co/KtqIe39V2c pic.twitter.com/fK1mU68xLX
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 31, 2020
“As our building became the target of vandalism and arson last summer, there were several times that our neighbors helped paint over vile and vulgar graffiti scrawled across the outside walls and picked up trash and garbage,” he wrote.
“And as the rioting escalated at our location, we felt that the community was more and more at risk. At the most recent arson incident, a neighbor stood on the sidewalk with a water hose trying to put the fire out just before first responders arrived,” he wrote.
That, he noted, was the last straw. The union has moved to a location he did not disclose.
“The Lombard building will be repaired and, at a later date, put on the market to sell,” he wrote.
Turner closed with a message to the union’s former neighbors.
“We want to take this opportunity to thank the North Portland and Kenton community and particularly the business owners located adjacent to the building. We appreciate their support and patience over the last year. We thank them for their tolerance. And we hope that with our relocation, they can have some peace,” he wrote.
The Portland Tribune found that neighbors responded to the announcement with a sense of loss.
“It’s going to bring a sense of the focus not being here during protests. I am sure the neighbors are going to be excited about that, but at the same time I am going to miss their presence, ” said a neighbor whose name was only given as Craig.
He said officers “are good human beings and they are just doing their job and so I am kind of sorry to see them leave, actually.”
Another neighbor, whose name was withheld, said the move is not a positive in his eyes.
“Simply trying to burn things doesn’t help the city get better, it doesn’t help the neighborhood get better and it certainly doesn’t help with the problems we’ve had. … Having no cops around is not a good thing,” he said.
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