Downtown Portland businesses caught in the middle of recent violent protests

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 10:54 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - With recent violent protests in downtown Portland bringing flashbacks of 2020, some business owners are contemplating staying in the heart of the city while others said they’re not being deterred.

Portland police said since June 24, the day Roe v. Wade was overturned, there have been six unruly gatherings in the city. The most recent was Monday night. That stemmed from a protest over the police killing of Jayland Walker. He was a black man, shot more than 60 times by police in Ohio. Protesters Monday night walked through downtown, smashing windows of businesses along Southwest Morrison Street.

Bertony Faustin owns a winery across the street from a target that was hit.

“I do feel bad for people whose businesses have been vandalized,” Faustin said.

Faustin opened Abbey Creek Winery in downtown Portland in July of 2020, during the height of protests that year.

“When we had the opportunity to open downtown that was a blessing,” Faustin said.

He said a recent string of violent protests in Portland isn’t stopping him from serving his customers in the heart of the city.

“As I mentioned to you when I opened up in 2020 so many people had to close up and we were opening,” Faustin said. “I felt that people needed to see something, a bright light. Maybe that sounds cliché but that’s the only way I know how to live.”

While Faustin stays open, others are shutting their doors. This week, Elmer’s Restaurant announced they are leaving the Rose City and moving their offices to Vancouver. The company cited crime and violence as one of their reasoning for leaving.

In regards to Monday night’s protest, Portland police confirmed they did reach out to the FBI for assistance and the agency sent FOX 12 a statement:

“We are aware of the incident on Monday night and we are working with our law enforcement partners and within federal guidelines to determine, what, if any, specific FBI action is warranted.”

FOX 12 did reach out to the Portland Business Alliance for comment about the recent string of violence hitting local businesses, but we didn’t hear back.