Chair Kafoury statement shared Saturday, May 30, on social media
Yesterday, in the wake of George Floyd’s senseless death, we saw reflective vigils in our parks and passionate demonstrations in our streets — each a manifestation of collective anger and grief built up over decades of injustice that reached a tipping point.
The destruction and damage downtown last night is unfortunate and ugly. But the history of police violence on Black bodies, both here in Portland and across the country, is far uglier. Those lives that have been lost can’t be replaced.
The fear experienced by County employees who were in the Justice Center, too, was real. I am also committed to supporting their safety. Our small businesses have been hurting and many were hurt again last night.
Though last night’s events are over and we turn towards recovery and rebuilding, we cannot lose sight of the historic, systemic and ongoing racism that set them in motion. Unless we listen, learn and change as individuals and as a community, the risks and threat of white supremacy will continue to exist after the glass has been swept and businesses reopen.