Bison Coffeehouse vandalized before Coffee With a Cop event
A Native American-owned Northeast Portland coffee shop was vandalized hours before it was scheduled to host a publicized Coffee With a Cop event Wednesday.
The owner of the Bison Coffeehouse believes her business was targeted because of the event.
"They tried to shut it down, that's how I feel. Somebody tried to," said Loretta Guzman, a Shoshone-Bannock tribal member, was born and raised in Portland. According to the Portland Police Bureau, around 3 a.m. Oct. 5, officers responded to the coffee shop in the 3900 block of Northeast Cully Boulevard. They found broken windows, property damage and white debris from a discharged fire extinguisher on the inside of the building. Indigenous art and a mounted buffalo head were damaged.
Security footage captures six vandals wearing hooded sweatshirts causing extensive damage. No arrests have been made, and police are asking for public assistance to locate the suspects involved in the incident.
Despite the vandalism, Guzman proceeded with the Coffee With a Cop event. Customers and police pitched in to clean up the coffee shop.
"It was so overwhelming, I was looking around like, 'Oh my God, where do I start?' But when I came back there were literally customers out in front and my friends came in. And they were like OK, buckets, water, rags and everybody just started getting busy," Guzman said.
"We still did it. Why didn't they come when everybody was here? If they had a real issue they should have come and discussed it with any one of the people who were here. There were so many people here who would have loved to talk to them," Guzman said.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler sent out a series of tweets about the incident.
"Last night, Bison Coffeehouse, a local BIPOC woman-owned small business, was attacked and vandalized by a group of masked criminals. They shattered windows and covered the interior of the shop with white paint. This destruction happened on the eve of Bison Coffeehouse hosting an event to bring the community and police together," he said. "Portland police was able to immediately respond, begin investigating, and assist the owner with cleaning up her shop in the aftermath of these hate-filled acts. Upon arrest, I will advocate for the prosecution to the fullest extent of the law— including potential federal hate crimes."
A GoFundMe account has been created to help pay for the damages.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.