“Mayhem” awaits you in Portland, Oregon, according to a greeting scrawled in white spray paint on a highway sign heading downtown. More graffiti, abandoned cars and trash covered encampments litter almost every off-ramp along the way.
“It makes me feel sad for the people who were born and raised here, that their city has become this. This is not what Portland is all about,” said Daryl Turner, a 30-year veteran of the Portland Police Department and executive director of the Portland Police Association.
After more than 100 consecutive days of riots last year, Portland’s reputation has plummeted. According to the Urban Land Institute, in 2017 the city was the third most desirable real estate market in the U.S. This year, it dropped to 66th. One local TV station, KOIN, is now asking, “Is Portland Over?”
“Downtown is like a ghost town now during the day and at night,” said Turner. “The Old Town area is almost unbearable to be down there at any point in time. The city has changed so drastically, it would almost look like close to some of the apocalyptic films you see on TV,” said Turner.