PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - It has been one month since demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd erupted into riots and looting in downtown Portland.

Dozens of businesses on the west side of the river sustained damage or experienced theft as looters smashed through storefronts and rummaged through inventory for hours early in the morning on May 30.

Downtown business owners say it's been a struggle to get back on their feet in a place that looks much different than it did before.

"There's nobody downtown, it's deserted," H&B Jewelry and Loan owner Phil Tobin said.

Tobin's shop has been at Southwest 3rd and Alder for 50 years.

"I never remembered anything like this," Tobin said.

Like many other business owners in the area, Tobin watched his store get trashed and looted live on his surveillance camera feeds.

"I'm seeing flashing police lights going up the street with 15 people standing in front of the door smashing the window," Tobin said. "And I'm thinking to myself, why isn't somebody doing something."

Rana Kassab-Daniken wondered the same thing as her family watched the chaotic smash-and-grab inside their Kassab Jewelers location downtown.

"They took everything, everything," Kassab-Daniken said.

Kassab-Daniken said over the course of an hour, their surveillance footage shows more than 50 faces went in and out of their store, cleaning out everything but two display cases.

Kassab-Daniken said her parents built the family store from nothing, and she said it felt personal watching it get destroyed in the riots, adding that she felt "let down" by the Portland Police Bureau.

Eric Murfitt, who owns Mercantile Portland, said his store has remained closed since it was vandalized that same night, and will likely remain closed for another three weeks or more.

He sent FOX 12 a statement, saying, in part:

"We strongly urge the city to manage the unlawful behaviors we are observing every night. During the 2019 May Day activity the city gave the police the appropriate authority to manage the situation with good success. For reasons unknown, the city leadership has not allowed the police to use the skills and resources available to manage this current lawless group gathering daily in front of the Justice Center. Instead, they are directing the police to retreat into the building and to add more barricades to the exterior. Why isn’t the leadership acting?"

Business owners say recovering from the violent night has not been an easy feat, even for those able to reopen their doors quickly.

"People are afraid to come downtown," Tobin said, referring to the stretch of Alder Street from 10th to 3rd as a "war zone".

That doesn't mean the community isn't trying. Groups and artists continue to paint artwork over the slabs of plywood boarding up windows, breathing color and warmth back into the quiet and graffiti-covered streets.

Color Outside the Lines is partnering with Open Eye Art to create a massive mural along Southwest 4th and Alder.

Founder of Color Outside the Lines, Anna Barlow, said different groups of Native American foster kids will be helping with the mural, which is going over the plywood on the building that houses 4th Avenue Smoke Shop and Paul's Shoe Repair.

"Replacing that with something that is colorful and positive is a feel good thing for everyone," Barlow said.

The Portland Police Bureau did not respond to FOX 12's request for comment, but Mayor Ted Wheeler's office did send the following statement:

"Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. What happened during protests that night happened to all of us. The City continues to outreach to, and to hear from those impacted by the protests, and is working to ensure relief to as many businesses as possible. Prosper Portland has administered a Repairs Grant Program that will provide $150,000 to small businesses. We plan to continue outreach and leverage other available resources to provide further assistance."

Fewer than 20 people were arrested in connection with the May 30 looting.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(18) comments

ItsPolitical

We don't want artwork, we want our JOBS back. We don't want loans to help build things back up, we want a government that PREVENTS things from being destroyed. We don't want social workers to play therapist, we want law ENFORCEMENT.

Jefferson

What is that ubiquitous haze in the air in Portland? Not teargas, not smoke bombs, not tobacco, not incense, not burning institutional offices. it's POT, my friends. the wrinkled weed of physical, mental and moral decay. With no concern for others it is smoked, vaped and otherwise dispersed indoors in houses, stores and condos and outdoors in streets, parks and patios, and in volumes never seen before. In an ideal future plant-based society we will surely be more agave friendly and completely cannabis-free.

SanchezB

People are not coming here because everyone is working from home. I am actually down here though, and its fine. I go on walks at lunch, go to the starbucks. There is graffiti but otherwise things are pretty calm down here.

Squib

Try it at night

sagebrush

This is what happens when a city protects criminals which is what Portland has been doing for a long time. The thugs who are destroying the cesspool called Portland know they won't be punished because the city leaders are actually leading them against the honest residents who are dumb enough to live there.

Delta Bravo

So a glorified box of crayons is now the solution to looting and arson?

Ironbar66

Artists painting over boarded up windows, and they somehow think that makes things even a little better? It doesn't. The ultra liberal left has shown its true colors time and time again. They accuse conservatives of being angry aggressors and yet the evidence lays it all out for everyone to see that the only ones committing bacts of violence are the liberal left. This is Ted Wheeler's legacy, and the legacy of every other socialist democrat: destruction, degradation, homelessness, misery, and poverty. And the morons in this state willingly vote for it every election.

Frederick Fukov

Yeah..no kidding. Funny how normal people refuse to go to downtown Portland and participate in the free market, when our local politicians capitulate to the mob.

PDX2MtHood

Painting slabs of wood with ridiculous messages wont pay back the damage that has been done. Downtown is now filled with vagrants and criminals. Why should people have to deal with the criminals downtown when other safer and cleaner places exist for shopping around the metro area? Amazon and other delivery services are printing money right now. Thank your local politicians for killing many local small businesses.

SanchezB

The news would have you believe that it is like a war zone down here, and that criminals are running rampant. I am down here and see none of that. Sure, some graffiti, but its mostly empty. People are working from home because of the pandemic, and are not avoiding downtown because of criminals. I have seen nothing going on and I work right by the justice center. I even go for walks at lunch...no issues here.

ItsPolitical

Yes, stay late and go for a walk around 1:00am, and see how naive you are.

Beyondthewhy

Not sure which is worse the riots or the shutdowns and house arrest orders, both have the same effect on businesses and the state, one just is a little bit quicker then the other.

Squib

Portland is terminal. Detroit 2.0

Holdmyheadwhileipuke

This and many other reasons why. Portland is a c hole of a city. Those who choose to live by a polluted river and never clean it. Keep Portland "weird" while collecting an "art" tax.

Husky Loyalist

Thank you Mr. Antifa Mayor Wheeler.

kyjaha

Portland deserves better than we have received from the Portland city council.

kyjaha

The City elected morons need to totally be replaced with officials who will actually do their job for the betterment of the entire city as a whole. NO ONE currently occupying City Hall is capable of doing anything but Pershing their own personal agendas. We need insightful, brave and strong morally grounded individuals who know when to say enough is enough . This continuing confrontation that's allowed to occur each night where a few individuals violate the property rights of anyone they think they can get away with victimizing is a Clear Demonstration by the morons at city hall that they, 1; have no interest in what is in the best interest of the entire city, 2; lack the testicles necessary to stand up and do what it takes to ensure these demonstrations are safe and peaceful, or 3; lack the personal integrity or interest in protecting anyone from being victimized by these protesters and anarchists, hoping for big headlines, as if we are in open competition with Seattle for news coverage

Roberto Estrello Demar

You lost your storefront or business?

So what? "You didn't build that!"

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