Portland mayor on misconduct by homeless people: 'The laws will be enforced'



Portland mayor on misconduct by homeless people: 'The laws will be enforced'

Business owners from Portland's Parkrose neighborhood came to the City Council to repeat a common refrain: That homeless people relieve themselves, use drugs or intimidate people near their businesses and the police do nothing, saying their hands are tied.

"We are in desperate need of your assistance," Angie Jenkins, president of the Parkrose Business Association, told the mayor and council Wednesday.

Jenkins, who owns an auto and tires shop, said she and other business owners want the homeless to receive aid, but also want police to respond to reports of theft, drug activity and vandalism.

As an example of dismissive conduct by the police, Jenkins said she reported a drug deal to officers, only to have one brush it off as "just a little bit of heroin."

Mayor Ted Wheeler delivered a pointed response, saying, "The laws will be enforced, and I'm directing they be enforced."

The mayor went on: "If a police officer or a firefighter ever tells you that I tied their hands, they are not telling you the truth. ... If an officer ever tells you that, get their name. Get their name. I want to know."

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