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New York Times:

After almost a year of turmoil, Portland officials are pursuing persecution

PORTLAND, Day. – After the protests end, sometimes early in the morning, Margaret Carter shows up in her gray Toyota Camry, sailing the streets of Portland to see the latest damage to her. Carter, 85, was at the center of the historic Oregon Society, where protesters smashed windows twice, recently writing “Another Story” next to the building. He passed by the local headquarters of the Democratic Party, where the windows were also broken. Last week, she found herself in the Boys & Girls’s neighborhood club, near tears, at the site of a costly window break, a place for which she worked so hard. “Portland was a beautiful city,” said Carter, who was the first black woman elected to the Oregon Legislature and is now retired. “Now you walk around and see all the graffiti, the buildings that are rising. I have a stomach ache. And I’m angry. ” Subscribe to The Morning News in The New York Times: After nearly a year of protests by police in Minneapolis over the assassination of George Lloyd Floyd, Portland mayors say it may be time for more aggressive street pressure. Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has been the target of protests over the control of a police department that has repeatedly resorted to aggressive tactics, declared a state of emergency last week for six days, promising to “cover up” protesters vandalizing or setting fire. Saying it was time to “hurt them a little.” Protests against racial justice and police violence angered many Portlanders, and frustrated the mayor’s efforts in the more liberal corners of the progressive city. Wheeler’s alarm over the large-scale crackdown has alarmed civil rights activists, with critics saying the city has failed to end violence by the Portland Police Department, a demand that has been met by hundreds of protesters who have not destroyed property. One of the latest outbreaks came this month when a police officer shot dead a man in a city park, a shot that authorities largely did not explain. Teressa Raiford, the community organizer who founded the non-profit Don’t Shoot PDX, says activists are focused on saving lives, while city leaders seem to be focused on saving windows. “There would have been no protests if the police had not continued to kill people,” Rifford said. “I wish we thought about life as much as we thought about property.” After Floyd’s death, protests erupted in thousands of communities across the country, but most of them gradually went out. On the contrary, Portland has been protesting for months, with large sections of the community demanding changes to the criminal justice system to combat racism and inequality. The police bureau escalated tensions by using tear gas in ways that provoked judges and the Ministry of Justice. But the size of the crowd has waned, with figures such as Terry Porter, a former Portland Trail Blazers player, calling for an end to the destructive protests. Wheeler seems to have used the sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Shavin, who killed Phyllis, as an opportunity to end the most brutal protests. As people took to the streets across the country to condemn the accusation, some Portland businesses once again raised their windows. That night, a small group of black activists approached a group of journalists, threatening to break the cameras of those at the scene. The group later smashed the windows of two Starbucks stores. One person was arrested after throwing a fist at a police officer. The crowds seen in the city often consist of amorphous groups of people who come for different reasons. Deputy Chief of Police Chris Davis estimated that there were between 150 and 200 protesters, who tended to destroy property, although the protests were often smaller. The protesters, often seen in black-clad vandalism, are a mix of anarchists and police crackdowns, says David Myers, an activist who has joined the city’s many protests. He said that while he was kind to those who were causing property damage to put pressure on the city authorities, who did not want to change, he regretted that some of those protesters seemed to be in favor of the message “S lives are important”. reason: In some cases, he said, companies owned by blacks or supporting the black community were attacked. “I think everyone in that mix wants to say they’re BLM, but their actions show the opposite,” Myers said. Myers was among a group of SS activists who wrote a letter to the Protestant community last week condemning “the continuing behavior that is detrimental to the SS ‘liberation.” Success, it is said, requires “thoughtful action.” Growing unrest among Protesters led Wheeler last week to announce pressure. In his quest to help the public, Wheeler urged people to tell anyone they could hear about property destruction plans or boasting. He called on residents to report on protesters disguising their identities and to register their license plates with the police. He urged the local college to expel one student who is currently charged with conspiracy to commit a crime if convicted. Police officers were trying to target and arrest of protesters in the destruction of property. Using a so-called “kettling” tactic used to protest across the country, despite civil rights activists’ concerns, officers surrounded the crowd last month and began gathering information about each person caught on the perimeter. Davis said the effort “provided a lot of information.” In another recent incident in which activists opened fire on a police union headquarters, investigators said they were working with an informant in the crowd to find the suspect. Since then, he said, his office has focused on protesters who have committed violent crimes or property. For those arrested after such crimes, prosecutors will consider reinstating smaller criminal charges previously denied. He said his office was asking judges to set additional conditions for the early release of some people accused of crimes, demanding that they leave any demonstrations during which police officers declare an illegal gathering or riot. Schmidt said he was disappointed that people continued to destroy property, citing incidents like the boys ‘and girls’ clubs. “These are not just attacks on windows,” he said. “These are attacks on our community. “These are attacks on our values.” Activist Myers said he was concerned that the mayor was urging the public to call the police when they saw protesters dressed in the style of protesters, saying it raised the prospect of vigilance. “It puts people at risk,” he said. Myers said he expects the protests to continue despite efforts by the mayor to cancel them. Eric Murphy, who runs Mercantile Portland, a high-end women’s clothing store, said he has heard leaders like Wheeler show the right determination to end the unrest. But he said he had not seen much backlash or results yet. “Do we really live in chaos where there are no laws, no police, no responsibility?” Murphy said. “Or do we want to live in civil society?” Murphy said the robbery overnight in May caused $ 1 million in damage to his store just days after it reopened after being blocked by a coronavirus. In the same year, according to Murphy, the store insurer refused to extend the contract. The store eventually found another insurer, but had to pay four times as much as the previous policy – tens of thousands of extra dollars a year – for a new policy that did not cover civil unrest, Murphy said. He said he was spending tens of thousands of dollars to install bars on windows and shoot window glass. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 New York Times Company:

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