Portland AAPI businesses plead for help from police over alleged racially motivated vandalism

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 7:45 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A community is demanding answers from Portland police after they say they’ve been targeted with racially motivated vandalism.

On Thursday the Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association rallied members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Southeast Portland for a meeting with local elected officials and law enforcement.

Business owners in this area say their businesses are constantly being broken into, and it’s happening nonstop, with little to no results after being reported to police.

The owner of Powell’s Seafood Restaurant says a bullet flew through her door on Sunday night, and she had one of her windows smashed. Manna Chen has owned Powell’s for almost three decades, which serves Mandarin and Cantonese food. Chen said she has spent over $5,000 repairing damages from several violent break-ins in the last six months.

“29 years the situation was all good. Just these past two years, security is really bad,” she said.

Chen says she and other members of her community are at their wits end because of these attacks and it’s scary knowing these attacks could be racially motivated.

“This area, 80 percent are businesses owned by Asian people,” Chen said. “But I’m not sure if everybody (who vandalizes businesses) is against Asian people or not.”

In response to these concerns, a Portland Police detective who was at the meeting at Chen’s restaurant told Fox 12 one of the main solutions to this problem is having a larger police presence in this area.  The detective added  this has been difficult due to staffing levels, recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and lesser penalties for petty crimes.