Man arrested for burning Goldschmidt's City Hall portrait
A local activist has been arrested 10 days after he live-streamed a video of himself stealing a portrait from Portland City Hall.
Jeffrey Thomas Black openly admitted to taking the photograph of disgraced former Mayor Neil Goldschmidt — calling it "a deliberate act of civil disobedience" against a child rapist.
On Friday night, April 5, Black burned the picture for another live audience watching along on social media. In a third video, he live-streamed his arrest — saying that he had planned to meet Portland Police at 10:30 a.m. but they surprised him by showing up at his house while he was taking a shower.
"I'm happy to pay for Neil Goldschmidt's crimes," Black tells arresting officers in the video. "He was a terrible man, and it needed to be destroyed.... I was supporting victims."
Black was arrested just before 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 6 by Central Precinct officers, who say they also watched the video of the photograph going up in flames.
The 50-year-old with 30,000 followers on Twitter is charged with second-degree criminal mischief, third-degree theft and tampering with physical evidence.
The original video, which is still viewable by the public on Facebook, shows Black filming a City Council meeting on March 27, then walking into the unlocked foyer of current Mayor Ted Wheeler's office.
Black approaches the wall where images of almost every mayor have traditionally been displayed, and yanks down the portrait of former Mayor Goldschmidt.
Goldschmidt sexually abused a young girl during his first term as mayor — though the crimes were kept hidden for decades, while Goldschmidt rose up the ranks of power, eventually becoming Oregon governor and U.S. transportation secretary. Goldschmidt was never convicted after the statute of limitations ran out.
Police say the Neighborhood Response Team has been investigating the theft since the portrait was stolen from the "outer entryway" of Wheeler's office.
Police say they arrested Black inside a home located in 7900 Block of North Berkeley Avenue. He was booked and released from the downtown jail, records report.