The mayor of Portland and three city councilors on Wednesday denounced recent violence against police in Portland, including a shooting incident late Sunday night in which someone fired several rounds into the police station’s parking garage.

Portland Mayor Kate Snyder Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Mayor Kate Snyder and Councilors Spencer Thibodeau, Nick Mavodones and Belinda Ray said in a written statement that they stand behind the police department, and there is no place for violence of any kind in the city.

In addition to the shooting, which remains under investigation, officers have been targeted by people shooting fireworks at them in the Kennedy Park neighborhood. Several police cars have been damaged by fireworks mortars, police have said. In another instance, officers rendering aid to an assault victim had to take cover when someone shot fireworks at them, police said.

The incidents come in the wake of historic social upheaval across the country following the death of George Floyd  in late May at the hands of police in Minneapolis, which spurred millions to march in the streets demanding an end to racist state systems and police brutality. In Portland, tensions and violence between police and demonstrators flared on June 1.

“As we work together as a community toward equity, the dismantling of systemic racism, and ensuring our policies and procedures across the city are anti-racist, it’s critical that we don’t resort to violence,” said Snyder, who acknowledged the work of activists who have filled the city’s streets demanding progress.

“As we move forward on this journey, we must stand together against all forms of violence. I am grateful to Portland police officers who continue to serve our community through a host of unprecedented challenges,” Snyder added.

Portland City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Ray called the protests a time of “necessary upheaval,” and said people should resist dehumanizing one another, including police officers.

“Individual police officers who signed up to serve our community are being dehumanized, and that’s making some people think that violence against them is acceptable. It’s not,” Ray said. “We are all complicit in our country’s horrendous history of racism, and we must all work together to root out and eradicate it from our systems, policies, and institutions without doing further harm to one another.”

Councilors Thibodeau and Mavodones also condemned the violence, saying that police officers deserve to be safe and that social change cannot come at the expense of officers’ well-being.

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