PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Police on Monday removed some of the fencing and concrete barriers near the Justice Center in downtown Portland in a move toward peaceful communication with community members and protesters.
The Justice Center has been a gathering point in recent weeks for protesters, with some interactions between officers and protesters turning tense and at times violent. On Sunday, more than a dozen people were arrested after police say some people started throwing projectiles over the fence, including glass bottles. Officers said some protesters also tried to climb the fence.
Prior to Monday afternoon, the fence blocked off the federal courthouse and 3rd Avenue from Main Street to Madison Street. Now, it has been scaled back to remain directly around the perimeter of the Justice Center.
Police said they recognize the fence has been a symbol of divide between the police and the community. The bureau said the reason they’re removing some of the fencing is to “show their willingness to have a dialogue and peaceful communication toward starting to heal the community”.
Some have asked about the fence coming down today that has been in front of the Justice Center. It has been p for more than a week and we recognize that for some it has become a symbol of divide between the police and the community.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 15, 2020
The police bureau on Monday said it remains at critical staffing levels as they continue to try to manage crowd in downtown with other calls in the city.
The exterior fence and concrete barriers on SW 3rd in front of the Portland Justice Center are being removed. A smaller fence has been constructed without barriers up against the building itself. @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/q3XiwNKqgA— Devin Eskew (@Devin_Eskew) June 15, 2020
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