Portland police chief pleads with community to stop violence against officers

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Portland’s chief of police took to social media to plead with members of the community to stop violent acts against the city’s officers after a string of violent incidents over the past week.

“The violence shown last night toward officers and over the weekend is shocking and reprehensible,” Portland Chief of Police Chuck Lovell posted on Twitter Tuesday. “In the last four days, officers have been shot at, had suspects fight with them, run over by a vehicle and another almost run over.”

The post comes after officers in the city have had multiple violent encounters over the last week, including an incident in which a suspect who had been confronted by officers sped off, hitting two police cruisers and almost running down an officer.

According to reporting from KGW, officers in that incident were responding to reports of gun fire near an apartment complex, locating a suspect in a truck before the suspect fled. One officer fired at the suspect as the truck sped through the police cruisers, though it was unclear if the driver had been injured because he was able to elude police and escape.

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Portland Police Department cruiser.

Portland Police Department cruiser. (Portland Police Department)

In a similar incident, an officer was badly injured and hospitalized after a stolen vehicle investigation that resulted in the suspect running over the officer in the vehicle.

Hours earlier, officers were involved in a physical altercation with a domestic violence suspect. Video of the incident appears to show the suspect pulling out a gun and perhaps firing a shot, resulting in one officer opening fire on the man and killing him.

“It’s beginning to get frustrating for the officers and hopefully members of the community are getting frustrated, as well,” Portland Police Bureau Officer Derek Carmon told KGW.

The frustration for Portland’s police officers has been building for two years, with the city being one of the epicenters of nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in 2020. Those demonstrations often turned violent, resulting in millions of damage to property in the city and the death of a supporter of former President Donald Trump at the hands of an antifascist protester.

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Portland was among the cities that pulled back money from police as a result of the “Defund the Police” movement protests there, though the continued violence forced officials to change course and seek more police funding just a year later.

Violent protests in the city have continued ever since, most recently after the Supreme Court issued its ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. After the ruling, a large group of protesters descended on downtown Portland, smashing business windows and vandalizing buildings with graffiti that read “death to SCOTUS.”

​​​​​​​A Portland, Ore., police officer scans the crowd while dispersing protesters.

​​​​​​​A Portland, Ore., police officer scans the crowd while dispersing protesters. (Getty Images)

Lovell has seen enough of the continued violence, saying police officers in the city deserve the community’s support.

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“Officers are answering 911 emergency calls trying to help people,” he said on Twitter. “They deserve to go home at night to their loved ones. They deserve and need the community’s support as they continue to help make a difference in this city.”