Tigard chief vows more arrests for police shooting protest
Tigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine made one thing clear Friday afternoon, Jan. 8: those responsible for committing crimes — from shattering windows to spray-painting buildings to engaging in other type of vandalism — will be held accountable.
McAlpine made those comments during a press conference the day after more than 100 protesters marched through downtown Tigard during a rally that was eventually be deemed a riot by Tigard police.
Those marching were protesting the death of 26-year-old Jacob Macduff, who Tigard police shot and killed Wednesday evening, Jan. 6, as they responded to a domestic call, saying that when confronted, Macduff had a knife and a struggle ensued. A roommate of Macduff's said he was having a mental crisis at the time he was shot.
By the end of Thursday's protest, the fronts of businesses were painted with graffiti and some windows were smashed, but the brunt of the damage was leveled at the Tigard Police Department. The front door was smashed and 20 windows in the police facility and the adjacent Tigard City Hall were broken.
"The police department has video and other evidence of significant crime throughout the area of the downtown corridor and to this city campus," McAlpine said, adding that the business community didn't deserve "this regardless of the outrage of those involved that wanted to express this."
She said that while police understand the anger and frustration caused by the shooting, the city "can't accept the random property damage and threats of violence to be the form of that outcry for justice."
"The crimes that took place in Tigard last night will not be tolerated. We've made one arrest; however, in consultation with the district attorney's office, we intend to pursue additional charges for several subjects, hopefully next week."
Questions McAlpine took from reporters during the press conference included:
Is she worried about another protest? McAlpine said she didn't believe other protests were forthcoming but said it is possible. "And if so, we are prepared," she said. She did admit, however, that given the current tone throughout the nation, a similar situation was a reasonable expectation.
"For smaller agencies, we have to be prepared and think about what we can do and what [are] our capabilities, and really rely on each other," she said.
McAlpine also said if there is a heightened threat of a similar event that goes beyond the department's capability to address, her department would reach out to other local law enforcement agencies if necessary.
Why not more details on the specifics on the shooting? McAlpine said she knows residents want answers regarding the shooting but added there's a process that needs to be followed and she can't "give information that I don't even have." McAlpine said she didn't have any information as to whether there were mental health issues involved related to the MacDuff shooting and that the Washington County Major Crimes Task Force is investigating the shooting.
Why wasn't more done to stop the protesters from their destructive vandalism?
"As I said earlier, we have limited capabilities of what we're able to do and so, as the events were unfolding, like I said, they did not go unnoticed (or) undocumented and there are accountabilities later …"
McAlpine said that it was clear the protesters' intent was to come to the police department and police did not want to deter them from doing that, hoping that they wouldn't inflict more damage to the downtown corridor area. She said police never planned to engage protesters in the downtown area.
"They needed to come to us," she said. "They came to us. There was still some damage, but their focus was us and that's where it needed to be."
Were the protesters from outside the Tigard area?
McAlpine said she didn't know.
What about preventing officers from responding to those calls involving those suffering a mental health crisis in the future?
McAlpine said she can't think of any police agencies that want to be in the mental health profession, and added she was all for finding a better way to address those issues.
What did she think of seeing graffiti and broken glass in a community she lives in?
McAlpine said she found it absolutely disheartening, referring to the police department building as "our house."
She said she felt especially bad for business owners who have been affected by all the other things happening over the last year, from the COVID-19 pandemic to wildfires.
"Their businesses are, if they haven't been shut down, they are hurting and holding by a thread and to have this subjected to them, when they did nothing, they did absolutely nothing, has nothing to do with them, is disheartening," McAlpine said, becoming visibly upset. "As a natural leader, you feel responsible. So my heart goes out to them."
Businesses assess damage
Tigard's Main Street was a flurry of activity Friday afternoon as business owners and workers painted over graffiti or surveyed damage from the night before following a march to protest the shooting death of a 26-year-old man by Tigard police on Jan. 6.
Mark Creevy was in bed reading when his office manager let him know the front glass front door of his Main Street State Farm office had been smashed in Thursday evening.
"I was not aware there had been an officer-involved shooting the night before, so it was a surprise," said Creevy, who has been at the same location since 2007. "I'm not surprised, after the fact, given the circumstances. It's hard to imagine it wouldn't happen in this current day and age. Kind of a sign of the times."
Still, he said he's glad no one ended up breaking into his business.
He said he's not sure how much it will cost to get his door fixed, estimating it might be $1,000.
"But it's a fly on the windshield of life, right?" he pointed out. "You know, I'm in the business of talking to people when things go wrong and so this is akin to a fender bender, not a multi-car, head-on collision that results in fatalities and serious injuries. So (you) take it in stride."
Meanwhile, The Tigard Chamber of Commerce posted a message on their website that they were saddened by the death of a Tigard community member Wednesday night but also "disheartened and disappointed" in the damage done to downtown Tigard businesses. It went on to say businesses were already negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Now more than ever, these businesses need our support as do community members who are grieving over what has happened," the site read. "The Tigard Chamber is listening, open to learning and being part of the solution."
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