A coffee shop in northeast Portland, Oregon, was vandalized late Tuesday evening before hosting a “Coffee with a Cop” event scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Security camera footage from the incident captured six people breaking the windows and front door at a Native American-owned coffee shop, Bison Coffeehouse. The criminals sprayed the interior of the shop with white paint.
The owner, Loretta Guzman, said she was in disbelief. Guzman suspects that her business was targeted because she planned on hosting a “Coffee with a Cop” event on Wednesday morning.
Guzman placed signs outside her shop advertising the upcoming event. She told KATU that when she posted the event online, she immediately received negative feedback.
Guzman explained her goal for hosting the event. “I was hoping that people could come voice their opinions and their concerns and maybe make things more positive for everybody, because if we don’t speak up, there’s no change,” she said.
“I’ve done these events in the past, and they asked me if I was willing to host,” Guzman told KGW. “Somewhere we have to make a change within our community. I’ve got kids and grandkids, and we have to make it better for our future. That’s my belief, but it’s not everybody’s belief.”
Police officers and the local community came together to help Guzman clean up the damage and board the windows. She noted that the wave of community support gave her hope.
“It saddens me that once again Portland will be the focus of something so negative, and I’d like to highlight the positive coming out of this,” Commander Tina Jones stated. “I’ve seen the community coming together and saying, ‘Enough, this isn’t acceptable or what we’re about.'”
State Representative Tawna Sanchez also assisted with the cleanup effort.
“People are resilient and they’ll come back, and there are people in the world who need help to figure out why they’re doing things they’re doing,” Sanchez said.
Guzman stated that she is not sure how much it will cost to repair the damage done by the six vandals. Despite the incident, she decided to move forward with hosting the event.
Police are currently investigating the case, and no arrests have been made at this time.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler posted news of the vandalism on Twitter. “This destruction happened on the eve of Bison Coffeehouse hosting an event to bring the community and police together,” he wrote. “Upon arrest, I will advocate for the prosecution to the fullest extent of the law—including potential federal hate crimes.”
Last night, Bison Coffeehouse, a local BIPOC woman-owned small business, was attacked and vandalized by a group of masked criminals. They shattered windows and covered the interior of the shop with white paint. pic.twitter.com/JaN4heNuaU
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) October 5, 2022