Asian American and Pacific Islander business owners gathered to call for action from the police after multiple break-ins and vandalisms have left their community helpless in Portland.
The Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association gathered members of the AAPI community in the Jade District for a meeting with law enforcement and elected officials at Powell’s Seafood Restaurant on Thursday.
Business owners in the area complained about constant break-ins that have left them living in fear. They pleaded with police and city officials to put an end to the crimes.
Manna Chen, the owner of Powell’s Seafood Restaurant, told KPTV that a bullet flew through her business’s front door and one of her windows was smashed on Sunday night. Chen has reportedly spent over $5,000 to repair damages from five vandalism attacks in the last six months.
“Twenty-nine years the situation was all good. Just these past two years, security is really bad,” Chen said. “This area, 80 percent are businesses owned by Asian people. But I’m not sure if everybody [who vandalizes businesses] is against Asian people or not.”
At the meeting, business owner Mr. Jing also spoke about how he was robbed at gunpoint in his bar on Wednesday night.
“To have my father experience this just last night is heartbreaking,” Jing’s son Keith said.
Portland police have pledged to hire officers on overtime to help support missions with the city’s Neighborhood Response Teams despite low staffing levels. The city will be looking to hire 300 more officers in the next three years to reduce crime in the area. A funding of nearly $1 million has also been allocated to help business owners pay for damages caused by property vandalism.
“I understand that call times and wait times sometimes can be hours or maybe even the next day … but please don’t stop calling us,” Captain David Abrahamson of the Portland Police Bureau said.
Featured Image via KPTV