PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - An occupation of a north Portland street entered its fourth straight night on Friday. Those upset with the eviction process at a home on North Mississippi Avenue have set up roadblocks and an encampment around the home to prevent authorities from getting to the house.
The “Red House on Mississippi” as it has been called, has been at the center of tensions between the Kinney family and a foreclosure fight that has been ongoing for several years.
On Tuesday, Multnomah County deputies served an eviction notice and arrested at least six people.
In a statement on Friday, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reece outlined the events leading up to the eviction on that sparked the barricades and occupation around the house.
"On Tuesday, December 8, 2020, by court order, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office served the writ for a second time to occupants illegally trespassing on the property," Reece said in a statement. "Prior to the notice being served, MCSO coordinated with a local service provider to line-up resources, such as shelter, bus passes, food, water, clothing items, blankets and hand warmers."
The sheriff’s office says the situation changed dramatically when they found the house to be “heavily fortified from within and found a number of firearms on the property.”
Six people were found inside the home they were arrested and charged with trespassing. Later in the day, more people were arrested after police reported rocks and other items thrown at them.
Friday, Gabriel Johnson with the Coalition to Save Portland went to the encampment. He says he has been working as a liaison between those on North Mississippi and Portland police.
“Livability in Portland is one of the biggest things that everyone deserves,” Johnson said. “It is a right, public safety is a right, this is not it.”
He says he has heard of neighbors nearby who are worried for their safety and have not left their homes.
“This isn’t livable, we got neighbors who have reached out to the police who have reached out to a number of organizations that are in contact with us. They are trapped in their homes they don’t feel like they are able to leave,” Johnson said.
Friday evening Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell put out a statement saying the Portland Police Bureau is working diligently behind the scenes to resolve the situation. Lovell said the circumstances are very complex and require a lot of care and thoughtfulness in how PPB proceeds.
“We are concerned about threats that have been made to some of the parties involved. We ask for the public to please be patient and refrain from taking personal action while we do everything possible to come to a resolution,” Lovell wrote.
The chief reiterated calls for those at the encampment to dismantle the barricades that had been put up. Lovell also asked the public to be patient and to refrain from taking personal action.
“PPB appeals to those behind the barricades to dismantle them or leave them behind. That positive solution will reduce the likelihood that police may take action under circumstances that may necessitate the use of force,” Lovell wrote.
Also Friday evening, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released a statement as well:
“The Mayor’s goal remains -- a safe resolution to a potentially dangerous situation. The Mayor’s office and other city bureaus are working hard to engage in diplomacy and de-escalation because they are always the right thing to do in a situation like this. This includes opening lines of communication and attempting to facilitate a resolution for the involved parties. If diplomacy and de-escalation fail, we are prepared for other alternatives because the Mayor will not let an armed occupation stand in the City of Portland. The Mayor condemns anyone making threats against others, including those directed at the Kinney family. Those with the intent to commit violence or perpetuate hate in Portland are not welcome here.”
- Images of the Red House in north Portland
- Court docs detail Red House past
- Rocks thrown at officers, police vehicles at eviction site
- People accused of trespassing removed from home
- Cousin of George Floyd supports Red House family
This is the timeline of events released by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office on Friday:
- On November, 19, 2018, a civil complaint was filed in the Multnomah County Circuit Court for an eviction due to a nonjudicial foreclosure at 4406 N. Mississippi Avenue.
- On May 19, 2020, a final judgment was signed on the case and a notice of restitution was issued.
- On August 12, 2020, a writ of execution was issued, commanding the Sheriff’s Office to serve the eviction order. A writ of execution is a judicial order that calls for a civil judgment to be enforced. A function of the Sheriff’s Office is to carry out civil enforcement orders in Multnomah County. The Sheriff’s Office has no discretion in these matters and is required to follow all court orders.
- On September 9, 2020, MCSO’s Civil Unit served the eviction notice. The residents were confrontational and not cooperative. Civil deputies were able to connect with another relative that offered housing to the family. Legally, after the writ is served, anyone on the property is subject to arrest for criminal charges, including trespass and criminal mischief.
- Shortly after the home was returned to the property owner, people began illegally trespassing on the property and the home was broken into. A second writ was reissued by the Courts on September 28, 2020.
- On October 22, 2020, the writ was extended.
- On Tuesday, December 8, 2020, by court order, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office served the writ for a second time to occupants illegally trespassing on the property. Prior to the notice being served, MCSO coordinated with a local service provider to line-up resources, such as shelter, bus passes, food, water, clothing items, blankets and hand warmers. The situation changed dramatically when deputies found the home to be heavily fortified from within and discovered a number of firearms on the property. Six people were found inside the home, despite the September 9th court order. All six were arrested without incident and charged with trespassing in the first degree. Once the property was safe, it was turned over to the property owner who hired contractors to remove items from the home and clear the property.
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