Leaders defend Ryan after home political vandalism
Portland officials spoke out against a Thursday night attack on Commissioner Dan Ryan's North Portland house after he voted against an $18 million cut to the Portland Police Bureau budget.
The vandalism included at least one broken window, paint-loaded balloons, lit flare and smashed plant pots.
Ryan released a statement Friday that said, "I appreciate that members of our community are passionate. But trespassing at the home I share with my fiancé; disrupting and intimidating my neighbors and me — and vandalizing my property — is not a productive or safe way to express opinions. I have elderly neighbors and I fear for their safety and well-being.
"I am an elected official working hard to serve the city I love. I am committed to listening and engaging in respectful dialogue. The protesters coming to my home are using the exact tactics they claim to be railing against — bullying and intimidation. I ask that they be accountable to one another, and think before they act."
In a Friday release, Mayor Ted Wheeler said: "Last night's criminal destruction and attack on Commissioner Ryan's home are reprehensible. Violence, criminal destruction and intimidation are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Those responsible must be found, investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I condemn anyone who uses violence to attempt to silence the voices of others."
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who co-sponsored the budget cut proposal, also condemned the violence.
"Last night a group of people vandalized Commissioner Ryan's home following a tense City Council hearing on the city's budget," Hardesty said. "I want to be clear: We can disagree and be upset over these issues, but I do not condone what took place at the Commissioner's home last night, and those who engaged in the acts need to be held responsible. Fighting for systemic change is messy and complicated, but what shouldn't be complicated is recognizing when lines have been crossed, and that's what happened last night."
Commissioner-elect Mingus Mapps, who defeated Commissioner Chloe Eudaly at the Nov. 3 general election, hosted an online news conference with Black community leaders who also condemned the vandalism.
"Last night there was damage to Commissioner Ryan's home and this is not the first night this has happened. We stand in solidarity against those choosing to tear down our city and continue to try and intimidate our elected officials. It is abhorrent that a city commissioner and their family would be terrorized in their home. This violence and intimidation does not further the cause of racial justice and does not make Black and brown people safer. This is a time when our community must come together, we must listen to one another and we call for peace," Mapps said.
Other Black leaders involved in the news conference included Ron Herndon, civil rights leader; Pastor J.W. Matt Hennessee; Pastor C.T. Wells; Pastor LeRoy Haynes; Dr. Shon Neyland, pastor; Marcus Mundy, Coalition of Communities of Color; former County Commissioner Loretta Smith; John Goodwin, Portland Art Museum; Howard Williamson, community activist; Denyse Peterson, Multnomah Education Service District board member; James Posey, community activist; James Kelly, KAIROS PDX; and Shawn Flynn, business leader.
"This must stop. We are so sorry he is having to go through this, and we want him to know we have his back," Mapps added.
Multnomah County and Unified Command spokesperson Chris Liedle said Ryan's home was targeted for the fourth time in a week, describing the group as "agitators" who threw burning flares and paint-filled balloons, causing damage to the property. Law enforcement officials declared an unlawful assembly and arrested two people.
According to investigators, Ryan's residence was targeted because he was one of the City Council members to vote against cutting $18 million from PPB's budget. If passed, the $18 million taken from PPB would be used for outdoor homeless shelters and other housing and food programs.
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