PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A law enforcement operation to remove people accused of trespassing at a home in north Portland turned violent, as a crowd of people threw rocks and other objects at officers, damaged police vehicles and blocked the road.
Mayor Ted Wheeler later authorized Portland police "to use all lawful means to end the illegal occupation on North Mississippi Avenue and to hold those violating our community's laws accountable."
"There will be no autonomous zone in Portland," Wheeler said, with his full statement on Twitter.
Portland police and Multnomah County deputies responded to the home, known as the “Red House,” on the 4400 block of North Mississippi Avenue at around 5 a.m. Tuesday.
A court order was issued in February of this year to evict people from the home, prior to state and federal emergency moratoriums.
The court order was served Sept. 9, giving people in the home time to leave the property and seek housing assistance, according to law enforcement.
A woman who said the house belongs to her family told FOX 12 she has been fighting the foreclosure for two years. She said the house was taken from them by "fraud and deceit through the big banks."
Deputies said at least 81 calls for services have been made regarding the home and the immediate area around the house for issues including fights, disturbances, shots fired, theft, trespassing and threats.
A protest followed the eviction Tuesday morning. Demonstrators were gathered at the scene Tuesday night, too.
As officer in the morning waited for private contractors to put up a fence around the property, a gathering of people made their way into the perimeter, with uniformed officers at the scene with police vehicles and police tape around the property.
Police said people in the group threw rocks and paint-filled balloons at officers.
Police said additional arrests were made and pepper spray was used in at least one instance by officers.
At 9:42 a.m., contractors finished setting up the fence, and law enforcement removed their perimeter. Police made loudspeaker announcements for people not to interfere with the fencing and to stay off the private property. Officers and deputies left the area by 10 a.m. Almost immediately, police said people removed a portion of the fence and again entered the property.
Police returned and attempted to disperse the crowd, but officers said people again threw objects at the officers and their vehicles.
Guns and bear spray were seized from the scene. Windows were smashed on patrol cars and tires were slashed on two police vehicles.
Officers disengaged, according to the Portland Police Bureau, and people again entered the property. The crowd then used fencing and other materials to block North Mississippi and began “stockpiling rocks,” according to police.
Police stayed out of the immediate area, but continued to monitor the situation, according to PPB.
After seven people were initially arrested for trespassing Tuesday morning, six additional people were arrested as the situation escalated throughout the morning.
They were identified as:
- 26-year-old Malik Farrakhan; interfering with a peace officer, resist arrest
- 32-year-old Benjamin Einhorn; interfering a with a peace officer
- 31-year-old Coral Cloutman; second-degree disorderly conduct
- 24-year-old Stephen Wiens; second-degree disorderly conduct, interfering a with peace officer
- 23-year-old Marshall Piotcowski; second-degree disorderly conduct, interfering a with peace officer
- 26-year-old Alicxandra Blake Lucero; interfering with a peace officer, resisting arrest, second-degree trespass
Julie Metcalf Kinney, who lives in the Red House, spoke with FOX 12 on Tuesday night.
“The people seeing that this tragedy was happening and they stepped up and they put it up live and the camp grew out of support from the people,” Kinney said.
Kinney shared her thoughts about the arrests Tuesday morning.
“They were just dismantling like animals the camp that we had built,” Kinney said.
Kinney's son, William, also spoke with FOX 12.
“They came with a strong presence and that’s why we’re out here screaming defund the police, because there’s no reason they should be coming like the Third Reich,” William said.
The family has been fighting against the foreclosure of their home for more than two years.
William says they've filed multiple lawsuits to stop this, and now he says they won't leave until they are let back into their home.
“We plan to stand the land until we get the land back,” William said.
Officers left the site, and since then, more demonstrators have shown up to stand in solidarity with the Kinney family.
“There’s this also feeling of gratitude for people to really stand together to try and stop this tragedy from happening,” Kinney said.
Kinney and William say they want to resolve this peacefully and are willing to meet with local leaders to make that happen.
“We don’t need another Trail of Tears or, you know, no Standing Rock, so hopefully, you know, we want to come to the round table and start negotiating,” William said.
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