December 11, 2020
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released the following statement:
“The situation on North Mississippi shows the pressing need for our community to come together to address our housing crisis, economic inequalities, racial and social injustices, and to be mindful of the collateral consequences that the criminal legal system can have on destabilizing families and entire communities. Many in our community would have never known about the plight of the Kinney family and the red house on Mississippi but for the neighbors and community members who have refused to stand by silently. Now, we understand and feel more keenly that foreclosures and evictions, even when afforded due process, can have cascading effects. The shame is that it took this type of an intervention to bring so many together to want to remedy the situation.
Simultaneously, there are significant public and life safety concerns with the conditions on North Mississippi. I have heard from neighbors scared to leave their homes and I’ve heard about journalists being assaulted. I condemn the violence and intimidation tactics I have learned about from earlier this week. Continued violence, property damage, and harm to our community is inexcusable and will be met with aggressive prosecution. Civil disobedience and First Amendment rights are at the core of a well-functioning democracy – threatening and assaultive behavior is not.
The Humboldt neighborhood is a historic and educational center of our community. The heavily fortified blockades on North Mississippi must come down so those living and doing business in the Humboldt neighborhood can do so again safely. Under current conditions that cannot occur.
I remain optimistic that the ongoing negotiations will produce mutually beneficial outcomes for the family and the current property owner.”
Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office