PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – There have been demonstrations against racial injustice in Portland almost every night since late May.
The Portland Police Bureau says some protests are becoming more destructive. It says the demonstrations are costing millions of dollars in overtime costs.
People during a protest near Portland City Hall on Sunday climbed the building and took down security cameras. The protesters’ actions come on the heels of vandalism and violence last Thursday night, when protesters barricaded the North Precinct and lit it on fire with people inside.
Last week, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said the protests have cost the bureau $6.2 million. A spokesperson says that just accounts for overtime costs.
Lovell said in a statement last week that the bureau has attempted multiple strategies in managing groups of protesters, particularly at the Justice Center, including attempting to speak with the crowd through the fence, withdrawing officers to non-visible positions, requesting that the crowd self-manage those who are throwing items or cutting the security fencing, dispersing the crowd when an unlawful assembly or civil disturbance is declared, and making arrests to increase public safety.
A bureau spokesperson on Monday said that life, safety and protection of critical infrastructure all remain primary objectives for the bureau.
Portland police have continued to say that the bureau is stretched thin right now. A spokesperson also confirmed that there are potentially two big retirement months coming up, but its unclear how many employees may actually retire.
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