PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A chain-link fence that blocked the downtown Portland, Oregon, jail from nightly protesters will be taken down.
Portland police announced on Twitter Monday afternoon that they planned to dismantle most of the fence. They did not say when they would remove it.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that police set it up around the perimeter of the Multnomah County Justice Center on June 1, after protesters on May 29 broke in and set a fire on the first floor of the building. Protests over police brutality following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis have continued every day since then.
The fence became a point of contention where protesters and police often faced off.
“We are removing the fence to show our willingness to have dialog and peaceful communication toward starting to heal our community,” the bureau said. “We are open and listening to discussions of how the community envisions its police serve them in the future. Our hope is that the nightly violence and destruction around the justice center will stop and the focus can be directed toward peaceful conversation.”
The police bureau said that officers would leave up some fencing close to the jail while workers repair some of the damage from the second nights of protests on May 29. Protesters broke windows, sprayed graffiti, stole merchandise and clashed with police throughout downtown.