(Natural News) It’s not everyday that police officers have to be called out in force to guard garbage, and yet that’s exactly what happened in Portland, Ore., last week.
Call it a sign of the crazy times in which we live.
According to The Oregonian, about a dozen of Portland’s finest were called to confront a group of people at a Fred Meyer grocery store in the northeast part of the city after they attempted to take food from dumpsters after it had been thrown away.
“Workers at the Hollywood West Fred Meyer threw away thousands of perishable items because the story, like many others, had lost power in an outage brought on by the region’s winter storm,” the outlet reported.
Residents were drawn to the grocer’s trash bins after images of food tossed into the garbage were posted to social media showing mounds of meats, cheeses, juice, whole turkeys, racks of ribs and other items that had been thrown out.
The outlet said that a few people gathered near the two giant dumpsters around 2:30 in the afternoon hoping to ‘salvage’ some of the food. But within a couple of hours, people who were there to garbage shop reported that Portland police officers were arriving and keeping people from carting off the dumpster groceries.
Morgan Mckniff, a noted Portland activist who has frequently criticized police, said when they showed up to grab some of the food employees of the store were guarding the dumpsters. The activist began video recording the staffers who then threatened to call the cops because they were being taped.
“After that, other people started showing up and asking them, ‘Why are you guys guarding a dumpster?’” Mckniff said, adding that about 15 people eventually showed up to try and grab food.
It was at that point that about 12 officers showed up, Mckniff said.
The Portland Police Bureau issued a statement saying that officers were sent to the scene after grocery staffers said “they felt the situation was escalating and feared there may be a physical confrontation.”
The Fred Meyer chain was also inundated with complaints and was forced to respond to them by pointing out that the company donates more than five million pounds of food annually.
So — what’s the ‘beef,’ so to speak? Spoilage; the grocer was concerned that the loss of power had spoiled at least some of the food.
“Unfortunately, due to loss of power at this store, some perishable food was no longer safe for donation to local hunger relief agencies,” the company wrote. “Our store team became concerned that area residents would consume the food and risk food borne illness, and they engaged local law enforcement out of an abundance of caution. We apologize for the confusion.”
Another left-wing activist — Portland has plenty of those — named Juniper Simonis also showed up to ‘document’ the police presence (imagine having nothing else better to do) and said officers had to threaten people with arrest at one point to keep them away from the potentially rotten food. (Related: Fifteen HARD lessons I learned from the “Texageddon” blackouts and collapse of critical infrastructure.)
Simonis, who is reportedly an environmental biologist and data scientist, proceeded to produce a phony press badge and claimed to want to merely interview police then whined about being told to back off.
“I’m just interacting with officers and trying to get their information, and then they say, ‘We’re going to arrest you if you don’t leave,’ and threatened me with trespassing,” Simonis said.
But because you can’t un-teach stupid, once cops left a few hours later, some of the people who had gathered went over to the dumpsters anyway and took out some items, apparently not worried about salmonella, spoilage or anything else the store was trying to protect them from.
“The people who were there weren’t there for selfish reasons — they were there to get food to distribute to hungry people around the city,” Simonis said.
Sure. Because it makes all the sense in the world to ‘distribute’ spoiled food.
See more reporting like this at Collapse.news.