Portland, Ore., police Chief Chuck Lovell on Wednesday morning decried violent instigators who he said are marring the message of mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters.
“Portlanders need to send a strong message that enough is enough,” Lovell told reporters at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, according to KGW-TV in Portland. “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.”
The protests, which have sometimes turned into late-night riots focused on the Multnomah County Justice Center and the federal courthouse, have continued unabated for more than two months since the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
Lovell said there have been many large peaceful protests that required no police presence but the smaller offshoot actions — setting fires, breaking windows and throwing objects at police — are taking away from the larger message. . .
“A lot of those stops end with handshakes and conversation,” he said. “And there’s a real familiarity and people miss it. We hear from a lot of people in the community saying hey we need the Gun Violence Reduction Team back. We need these officers that know our community, that know this issue of gun violence that we really relied on to help stay safe.” (Read more from “Police Chief Speaks Out About Portland Riots: ‘Enough Is Enough’ (VIDEO)” HERE)