PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Portland Police Bureau says it helped return a private property back to the rightful owners Tuesday morning, before the situation turned combative.
At around 5 a.m., officers, along with Multnomah County Sheriff's Office deputies, removed people accused of trespassing in a home and on private property in the 4400 block of North Mississippi Avenue.
The sheriff's office said the Multnomah County Circuit Court issued a "writ of execution" for an eviction at the home in February of this year, which was prior to state and federal emergency moratoriums.
On Sept. 9, deputies served the court order to people living at the home. The sheriff's office said the occupants were given "time to gather their possessions and offered housing and shelter options and other additional resources."
FOX 12 spoke to a woman who says her husband's family has owned the home since the 1950s.
"They didn't have any right to foreclose on my home. We own it, we still do. They took it by fraud," said Julie Metcalf Kinney.
Kenney says her family should never have faced foreclosure and eviction. She says she's been fighting that foreclosure for more than two years.
"We made a stand because they actually stole our house through fraud and deceit through the big banks," Kinney said.
After the eviction, the "Red House" protest began.
According to the sheriff's office, people converged on the property by "trespassing on the home's front and backyards, and camping on adjacent privately owned and city-owned properties."
The encampment was in large part a protest against gentrification in what was once a predominantly Black neighborhood.
"This is systemic oppression. This is gentrification at real time," said Coya Crespin with Community Alliance of Tenants.
Police learned the home was broken into and that people were entering and exiting despite the judge's order.
The sheriff's office said Portland police call log data shows, from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, at least 81 calls for service were placed for issues related to the home and immediate area. Calls for service included "fights, disturbances, shots fired, burglary, thefts, vandalism, noise violations, trespassing, threats, including by armed individuals, and for illegally blocking traffic, sidewalks and access to homes," according to the sheriff's office.
According to police, they worked with the property owners before removing the trespassers.
Police said when they arrived to the scene Tuesday, they encountered one person armed with a firearm. That person was taken into custody.
Seven people were arrested:
- Charles Stubbs, 41, charged with second-degree criminal trespass.
- Lester Wrecksie, 44, charged with second-degree criminal trespass.
- Joshua Rodgers, 40, charged with second-degree criminal trespass.
- Jonathan Lalej, 25, charged with second-degree criminal trespass.
- Matthew Stewart, 31, charged with second-degree criminal trespass.
- Christopher Wilkins, 43, charged with second-degree criminal trespass.
- Nicholas Piochei, 31, charged with second-degree criminal trespass and resisting arrest.
Police said firearms were recovered from the property.
As officer waited for private contractors to put up a fence around the property, a gathering of people made their way into the perimeter, even as uniformed officers stood by with police vehicles and police tape around the scene.
Police said people in the group threw rocks and paint-filled balloons at officers.
Police vehicle windows were also smashed and tires flatted on two patrol cars.
People used fencing and other materials to block North Mississippi Avenue and stockpiled rocks.
Police left the area, and will continue to monitor the situation. Six additional people were arrested.
The sheriff's office and police are asking neighbors to continue reported any criminal activity associated with the properties in the future.
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