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POLL: Majority of Portland Residents Feel Unsafe Because of Riots, Homelessness

'There seems in the last year to be this permission to do violence...'

Portland, Ore. residents said they view the city as unsafe and are scared to go downtown because of ongoing riots and increasing homelessness.

A new poll found that 53 percent of the residents living in Portland’s downtown area feel safe during the day, and only 20 percent feel safe at night.

Fifty-three percent of the respondents described Portland’s downtown at night as “very unsafe” and 24 percent said it was “somewhat unsafe.”

Comparatively, 86 percent of respondents who live in other parts of Portland said they feel safe where they live.

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“I love Portland, generally speaking,” Matthew Forsyth, a Portland resident who participated in the poll, told Oregon Live. “It’s just that downtown right now, it feels like it needs to be revitalized, and it doesn’t feel safe.”

Other respondents used the words “destroyed,” “trashed,” “riots,” and “sad” to describe the city and how they feel about it.

Portland resident Myrna Brown said she blames the city for letting riots get out of hand. 

“He’s very afraid to go downtown now,” Brown said of her 13-year-old son. “He loved to go down just to the waterfront and walk around. He loved to go to Saturday Market. These are things that cannot happen anymore.”

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Several other respondents agreed and said city leaders have let violence and property destruction go unpunished. 

“There seems in the last year to be this permission to do violence,” said Portland resident Laurie Lago.

Court filings show that the majority of rioters arrested in Portland will not face charges.

In some cases, the arrested rioters even confessed to their crimes, but still won’t face prosecution.

“It’s offensive to all the men and women who risked their lives in Portland for 90 to 120 days or even longer in some cases, being attacked night after night after night,” Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security under President Trump, told Fox News.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has blamed the “self-described anarchists” who continue “to engage in regular criminal destruction.”

“They want to prevent us from doing the work of making a better Portland for everyone,” he said. “They want to burn. They want to bash.”

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