Portland residents showed up and showed out for their neighbors this week. Nearly 100 protesters showed up to protect a Black family as police attempted to evict them from their home.
The Kinney family has lived in a home on Mississippi Avenue in Portland for nearly 75 years. Unfortunately, the home was foreclosed in 2018 after a long legal battle. The Kinneys have said that they were led astray when a refinancing of their home was transferred from Beneficial Oregon to a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs called MTGLQ Investors. without their knowledge. Making things more confusing, both entities were asking for payment. Ultimately, the loan was sold again in 2018 and the foreclosure process kicked in to gear. Along the way, the Kinney family utilized various strategies to purchase their home to no avail.
Two yers after the foreclosure process began, Multnomah County Judge Judith H. Matazarro approved the eviction and were forced out. However, the surrounding community pitched in to help the Kinneys remain on Mississippi Avenue. Raising $40,000, the surrounding community helped the family occupy the home 24/7.
On Tuesday, things reached a tipping point when police were ordered to seize control of the home. Officers said that they had to “re-secure a home in which the occupants were previously ordered removed by court order." When the officers arrived on the scene, they were met by nearly 100 community members creating a barricade around the house.
“Get the f— out,” one demonstrator yelled.
After a brief exchange, video shows the officers backing off. Thankfully, there were no reported injuries. However, some were arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest.
***The video below contains profane language***
After Tuesday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler threatened the occupiers by instructing officers to use "all lawful means" to remove citizens from the home.
“It’s time for the encampment and occupation to end,” he said.
“There are many ways to protest and work toward needed reform. Illegally occupying private property, openly carrying weapons, threatening and intimidating people are not among them.”
Despite Wheeler's claims, nearby residents say that the protesters have not bothered the surrounding community. Historic Mississippi Avenue Business Association President Maurice Fain witnessed Tuesday's incident and said that there have no complaints.
“You’re taking away something that belongs to them, that they’ve been having in their family for generations,” Fain said.
“As business owners, as community people living here, we should help another family stay in the community. We shouldn’t want to destroy them so we can build sky rises and apartment complexes to get wealthy.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images