by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) –
Portland community leaders have asked for a cessation of violent protest in order for discussions to take place on the issues protestors want to raise, Fox News reported Monday. Portland has been the scene of violent protests in the weeks following the police killing of George Floyd, such that federal forces were dispatched recently in a controversial quest to end the clashes and turmoil.
Community leaders were prompted to act after protestors started a fire inside the Portland Police Association (PPA) building on Saturday night. At a PPA press conference on Sunday afternoon, association president Daryl Turner called for an end to the violence. “This is no longer about George Floyd; this is no longer about racial equity or social justice. This isn’t about reform, or the evolution of policing. This is about violence, rioting destruction,” Turner said.
Speaking to Fox News, local resident Ash Leabenworth said the PPA incident had happened close to his home and that it had been “scary” to have this happen on his street, which used to be a quiet area. “Especially last night when the union was caught on fire, so we felt pretty scared for our neighbors then. As much as we do support the protests it’s been a trip having cops out here with their LRAD systems and blowing up the acoustics of the neighborhood,” Leabenworth said.
The arrival of federal units to quell the turmoil has been especially controversial as troops reportedly carry no identification and have taken protestors away in unmarked vehicles. Therefore, Leabenworth said, he understood the anger of protestors: “People are seemingly getting snatched off the streets by federal units that have been sent to Portland and people are understandably upset.” Leabonworth said. “I think that honestly the only thing that brings about change is showing up and doing something dramatic,” he added.
Among other leaders who joined Turner at the PPA press conference was Pastor J.W. Matt Hennessee of the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church. Calling for unity, Hennessee said: “We want to work with you, and we ask for a moratorium, literally a moratorium on the streets to give us an opportunity to hear you. We want you to know we hear you. We understand there are issues you want to talk about.”
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