Unprecedented level of violence: Portland protests cost local businesses $ 23 million
Local businesses in Portland, Oregon, suffered about $ 23 million in losses and lost customers due to violent US protests that swept the city. Writes about it Fox Business.
At a police briefing, Deputy Sheriff Chris Davis said the intensity of violence from the “agitator corps” and the length of the protests that have been taking place in Oregon's largest city for six weeks are unprecedented.
Davis made a clear distinction between the Black Lives Matter protesters, who he said were not violent, and a small group of people - he called them "agitators" repeatedly.
“There is a very big difference between protests and the chaos we saw every night. The Black Lives Matter movement is not violent. The story we'll talk about today is about a small group of agitators trying to steal the idea of protests and use it as a cover for criminal activity, ”he said.
For 41 consecutive nights, protesters rallied against racial injustice and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and they are increasingly focusing their actions on federal property, including the federal court of Mark O. Hatfield in a business district in the city center .
Authorities several times announced the riots and used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. A recent federal court ruling prohibits police from using tear gas unless a riot has been announced, but critics dispute the definition of “riot” and those who decide to qualify the protest as an unlawful event.
Last week, police used tear gas the day after Governor Kate Brown signed a bill banning its use if a riot was not announced. This prompted Brown and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek to publicly urge Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner, to curb the department and de-escalate its interaction with protesters.
Davis defended the decision to use tear gas and said that the alternative was to send officers into a chaotic crowd, which could result in injuries to both officers and protesters.
“I will be very happy if I can continue my career and we don’t have to use gas anymore,” he said.
“The reason we are seeing more and more use of tear gas is due to the truly unprecedented level of violence that we are seeing, not because we are trying to find excuses for its use. And it would be irresponsible of us to somehow shorten the definition of riot so that we can use gas faster, ”said the Mayor of Portland.
On Wednesday, July 8, the president of the police union said: he’s not sure city leaders will take steps to stop the protests.
“Our officers put up stones, bricks, bottles, mortars and other items that were used against them for weeks,” said union president Daryl Turner. - Enough. Those who wear a badge and uniform every day are also people. "
On Tuesday, July 7, an Oregon state lawyer announced federal charges against seven protesters who were shown to damage federal property and attack federal officials. In addition, police arrested two people on charges of setting fire to a police station.
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