Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell called for an end to the almost nightly violent protests in the city during a news conference on Wednesday.
“We continue to have some nightly violent criminal activity that’s taking place in our city. This has been problematic for us. It’s a drain on resources and we have people who, they’re dedicated to provoking a police response,” he told reporters.
That response is taking away from our ability to go out and give people the service that they expect from the police bureau. People expect to get their calls for service answered, they expect us to be able to answer their calls for service, respond to the shootings that we’ve been having and things of that nature. So we’re really calling on people to come out and just really say that that activity needs to stop.
We’re pushing almost 70 straight days of protests here in Portland. Officers are tired, and they keep coming back every night because they love this city. They’re working hard to keep the city safe, protect people, and give people the right to exercise their free speech but also protect property from those who are committed to try to destroy it and to try to do things that are disruptive to the functioning of our beautiful city.
The chief said Portlanders, including business owners, faith leaders, and elected officials, needed to “send the strong message that enough is enough.”
“This is not forwarding the goals of things that are going to lead to better outcomes for people of color. This movement’s very powerful and I feel like the violence has taken away from it in a really, kind of concerning way,” Lovell noted.
The riots continued this week after federal law enforcement officials withdrew from the area, according to Breitbart News.
Although more than 400 people have been arrested since the protests began, Lovell explained that “This is not a situation where you can arrest your way out of it,” adding that despite the arrests, the violence had not stopped.
“To me that’s just an attempt to either lash out against government or the establishment in general, or to provoke a response from the police,” Lovell concluded.