“Someone parked his car in front of a police cruiser and refused to move,” said Richard Cox early this evening. Shortly thereafter a parade of eight police cars, lights flashing and sirens wailing roared down Congress Street to the assistance of the trapped cruiser according to Cox who was one of a huge crowd of witnesses to the first confrontation between the homeless camped at city hall plaza and the Portland Police Department. The confrontation occurred around 8:00 pm.
The young man got out of his car and asked Cox for a cigarette. Cox obliged. The young man sat down on the curb as a massive crowd from the homeless camp gathered at the corner of Congress and Myrtle Streets. “We formed a wall,” said Jess Falero who also witnessed the confrontation. “We stood up to them and they backed down.” One of the seven officers in the multiple cars pulled out a taser as if to use it on the young man. But he did not use it. The multiple police cruisers drove off more quietly then they arrived and the crowd slowly dispersed from the corner location.
“I think this situation will escalate to where we have a small Portland, Oregon situation,” said Cox. “This is just the beginning. It’s going to heat up soon,” he predicted. Heat up just like the very hot and humid weather. Cox served 12 years in the US Army – based in Panama and Columbia.
One of the demands of the homeless is that the Portland Police Department be defunded and those funds be reallocated for essential services as health services and mental health..