The chief of the Portland Police Department in Oregon is pleading with rioters and enabling politicians to stop the violence amid ongoing unrest in the city.
“Portlanders need to send a strong message that enough is enough,” said Chief Chuck Lovell, according to KGW-TV. “This is not forwarding the goals that are going to lead to better outcomes for people of color. This movement is really powerful, but the violence has taken away from it. This is not what Portland is about. This is not what we need in our city.”
While most of the violence around the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has subsided, there remains offshoots of violence in Portland.
On Wednesday night, law enforcement officers were called on to address an attack on a police station in a residential area of east Portland.
Lovell said this week the violence must end.
“There have been some really large peaceful protests where people have come out, listened to and given speeches, marched to different parts of the city, and that has required zero police engagement,” he explained, adding there have also been instances of violent rioting, where protesters have set fires, broken windows, thrown projectiles at police, and tried to tear down barricades to federal facilities.
In addition to the damage resulting from the violent rioting, Lovell also pointed out that such demonstrations pull personnel away from critical work.
“Redirecting offers to crowd control at protests leaves very few cars in the precincts to answer 911 calls,” the chief told reporters. “Sometimes, just two or three cars. That’s the real issue.”
President Donald Trump deployed federal officers to Portland in early July with the intended purpose of protecting the downtown federal courthouse, which has been at the center of much of the rioting in the city. On July 29, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) described the federal officers as “an occupying force” that has “refused accountability and brought strife to our community.”
Trump, for his part, has said federal authorities will not be leaving the Oregon city until things are cleaned up.