Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty proposed to slash $18 million from the PPB's budget. She and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly supported the measure, while Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Mayor Ted Wheeler – who had just won his second term as mayor – opposed it. Ryan's “no” vote made sure the proposal failed to pass.
In a speech explaining his vote, he talked about the importance of building bridges with the community. He even floated the city council's idea of taking part in a peace summit with selected representatives from the demonstrators.
“This $18 million proposal is a threat to our current public safety,” said Ryan. “It is our responsibility to work together and meet the demands of constituents and present a plan that is impactful, grounded in data, sound budgeting and community engagement.”
This angered the city's Antifa and Black Lives Matter chapters. They singled out Ryan, even though two other people in the Portland City Council voted against the measure. (Related: Portland demonstrators set fire to billboard advertisement with pro-police message outside police union building.)
At around 9 p.m. on Thursday, a group of around 60 rioters marched from Arbor Lodge Park in the North Portland neighborhood to Ryan's home. Once they reached their destination, they started chanting “Black lives matter,” while people began vandalizing the commissioner's home. People threw eggs and balloons filled with paint, and several others threw road flares at the front yard. At least one window was broken, and one large flower pot was smashed.
Because of the clear acts of vandalism and harassment, police officers at the scene ordered the mob to disperse. When the increasingly agitated crowd refused, the officers moved in and used force to protect Ryan's property. Two rioters were arrested and one was criminally cited.
The two people that were arrested were Bryan Ortega-Schwartz, 36, and Michael Kinney, 30. Ortega-Schwartz was arrested for reckless driving and attempting to elude police officers in a vehicle, while Kinney was arrested for failure to display a license, interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest.
This was not the first time Black Lives Matter and Antifa have targeted Ryan's home. On Oct. 27, dozens of demonstrators stood outside his home to urge him to vote yes, chanting “Don't be a villain, defund PPB by $18 million.”
Ryan, in an act of good faith, went out to speak to them for about an hour. He won some of their support for being willing to engage with them. He wasn't at home the second time the mob came to his door.
Speaking with reporters on Friday, Ryan said that it has been difficult to look at the damage done to his home.
“The sad thing is I was expecting it and was prepared,” said Ryan. “My fiance and I were safe. And we're in communication with our amazing neighbors on the block.”
When asked what the vandalism of his home meant regarding the current political environment in Portland, Ryan believes that the mostly peaceful crowd was led astray by certain elements within it agitating them to start trouble.
“I think it says very little about the big picture of Portland, but it says a lot about a small group of people that are taking it upon themselves to ignite more stress during a very, very difficult time in our city.”
Other members of the city council have come out condemning the attack, including Wheeler and Commissioner Hardesty. Wheeler called the attack on Ryan's home reprehensible and said that any kind of violence or intimidation will not be tolerated. Hardesty, who fought the hardest for the PPB's budget to be reduced, also denounced the rioters' actions. She said that the people of Portland can be upset and disagree with each other, but they must do so in a civil manner. Attacking and trying to intimidate a commissioner, she said, is a line that the people of Portland cannot cross.
“I do not condone what took place at the commissioner's home last night, and those who engaged in the acts need to be held responsible.”
Fritz, who also voted against the measure, also came out condemning the violence. “Whether they come from white supremacists, anarchists. racists, or anyone else, threats, vandalism and violence are unacceptable,” she said in a statement.
Learn more about the state of riots in Portland and other volatile parts of the country by reading the latest articles at Rioting.news.