Neighbors, businesses react to NE Portland vandalism
Police are investigating a string of vandalism cases after dozens of businesses were damaged in Northeast Portland Friday night.
At Sandy Boulevard Tire, employees told KATU they spent Saturday morning cleaning, using razor blades and solvent to scrape away graffiti.
“It’s kind of the world right now. A lot of people are frustrated, so some people will express it in different ways than others and we’ve just got to do the best we can and clean it. Just do the best we can,” said Richard Schilk.
The vandalism received a mixed reaction from people in the community. Some said they don’t understand why this happened.
“It’s unnecessary, I think, at this point. I don’t think you need to vandalize these businesses to get your point across, and I’m getting a little tired of it. This has been boarded up for months now,” said Karan Bershaw.
Others said fixating on vandalism feels like a distraction from the bigger issues.
“It’s upsetting, I can see that point of view. I’m just not that upset about it in comparison to all the other things that I think are worth being upset about, you know, Black Lives Matter, trans lives matter,” Joelle Murray said.
Some groups like the Coalition to Save Portland are now focused on cleanup efforts, while also putting pressure on city officials.
“We need to start prosecuting some of the petty crimes because the petty crimes are the things that are sometimes a deterrence to the bigger things that we’re seeing along with the vandalism and it’s just an extension of what’s been going on,” said Director Gabriel Johnson.
Portland Police said 27 businesses were damaged along Northeast Sandy Boulevard in total, ranging from stores and apartments to banks and restaurants. Officers told KATU that two groups gathered separately when this happened Friday night, and they responded to vandalism both in Northeast Portland and downtown.