The Chinese-American leader upset by the attitude of the Portland police
Community members gathered Friday to share their concerns with police interaction ahead of a shooting that injured two people, including at least one of Chinese descent.
PORTLAND, Ore. — A shooting Friday, July 29 has members of the Chinese-American community in Portland sharing concerns about the police response that preceded it — but so far there isn’t much verified details of exactly what happened that night. .
A meeting at a restaurant on Friday southeast of 82nd Avenue was an opportunity for community members to be heard and ask questions.
The Portland Police Bureau confirmed a shooting occurred southeast of 122nd and Holgate last Friday night, injuring two men. One of these men had gone to the scene to recover his stolen car.
The man is of Chinese descent – and according to leaders of the Chinese-American community in Portland, he remains in hospital with serious injuries.
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Neal Lee is the president of the Oregon Chinese Community Benevolent Association. Lee told KGW on Thursday that officers arrived and ultimately did not help the man recover his car. And after they left, Lee said a gunfight broke out.
At this point, it is unclear who was shooting and why; the police are still investigating and are not commenting on the details of the case. So far, no details have been released as to why the police left the scene at this time.
This leaves people in Portland’s Chinese-American community wondering and wanting to be heard.
“The message is that we need the police department and the city to listen because the community feels they are not being listened to and nothing is happening,” Lee said. “So they want reassurances and reassurance to know that the police office and the city cares about the Chinese community, the Asian community.”
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Portland Police Association President Aaron Schmautz came to the meeting. He said he understood the concerns of a community that has seen an increase in bias crimes in recent years. And while there’s more to be done to investigate this situation, including the police response, Schmautz said police need to do everything possible to come online.
“There are different timelines and certainly the investigation timelines don’t address the need to talk very quickly and transparently about the impact on the community,” Schmautz said, “and so I think it’s important for law enforcement to be available and can hear and to be able to discuss what we can discuss, and also to build that trust.
Late Thursday afternoon, KGW received the following statement from PPB:
“The Portland Police Bureau is aware of the concerns of the Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, and throughout the week Portland Police Bureau leadership met with the CCBA and other members of our diverse local Chinese community about this matter. We have reassured them that he is being thoroughly investigated. Although we cannot provide details due to the ongoing investigation by the Enhanced Community Safety Team, rest assured that PPB upholds the values of Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Excellence and service of our organization.
KGW will update this story as more details become available.