Black-Owned Restaurant Shot Up for Being Pro-Police, Owner Says

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Vandals shot through the windows of a cafe owned by a black Army veteran during a demonstration in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday because of the cafe’s pro-police stance, the owner said.

The incident occurred a few days after owner John Jackson said someone called the Heroes American Cafe on Thursday to say it was on a list of pro-police establishments and he should expect something to happen because of it.

“We kind of dismissed it as whatever,” the veteran said, according to the New York Post.

On Sunday, two windows of Heroes American Cafe were shot through and one was smashed with a baseball bat, according to The Oregonian.

“It looked like a planned thing because they called us on Thursday and threatened us,” Jackson said.

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He told KOIN-TV reporter Jennifer Dowling that the damage will cost him roughly $3,000, a large sum during a time when small businesses are already struggling.

The burger joint was targeted for being an “unfriendly business” by antifa-linked Twitter accounts, according to Fox News.

“We’re trying to compile a list of all non-friendly businesses in PDX,” one tweet said, according to the report. “AKA any company that’s hanging blue lives garbage in their store or anything else that’s anti the BLM movement. Drop them below.”

A tweet from @DublinPDX, a protected account, said the Heroes American Cafe gave its profits “to their heroes … cops,” according to Fox.

“We’re for all heroes and we don’t support zeroes,” Jackson told The Oregonian. “So if you’re a bad cop, we don’t really have time for you. If you’re walking your beat and you’re taking care of your people or you’re saving lives, we love you.”

The attack on the downtown cafe occurred during a “day of rage” demonstration where rioters toppled statues of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt as well as engaged in vandalism.

Jackson said those targeting his restaurant don’t know who he is or what his establishment stands for.

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“We are pro heroes, any hero — whether it’s a teacher, a firefighter, a police officer or a vet,” he told The Oregonian.

“We’ve very American in nature. I served in the military. We’re red, white and blue. Whatever side you’re on, you have a right to believe what you believe, but you don’t have a right to step on whatever you disagree with. We kind of felt like we’re neutral.”

There has been a string of demonstrations and riots across the country and in Portland since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest.

“To the business owners & the people, hang in there. We are all in this together,” Jackson told Dowling.

“This type of violence makes no sense. It only hurts the small guys like myself. We are just here providing a service to the community.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith