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‘You loot, we shoot’: Oregon homeowners put out warning signs amid wildfire evacuations

PORTLAND OR - SEPTEMBER 6: Protesters chant in front of a fire near the North police precinct during a protest against racial injustice and police brutality on September 6, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Sunday marked the 101st consecutive night of protests in Portland. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images/TNS)
September 18, 2020

“You loot, we shoot,” is the message homeowners in Oregon have recently posted on their properties, directed as a warning that anyone who seeks to damage property following wildfire evacuations will be met with homeowners who will shoot and kill looters.

The message, handpainted on a sign outside of a home, was photographed by a local television station KPTV. Another sign stated, “We won’t call your family. Your body will never be found!! Bang bang.”

Some signs warned looters and arsonists that homeowners are still around despite the wildfires.

“Home and armed. U Loot we shoot,” and “Looters and arsonists will be SHOT,” were written on additional signs.

More than ten percent of Oregon’s population, or over 500,000 people, have been asked to evacuate due to the state’s widespread wildfires.

“The last thing I want to see is anything tragically happen because somebody’s overreacting to something they think is criminal and it is not,” Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said, according to The Oregonian.

In addition to the signs, many residents are setting up roadblocks and requesting identification before allowing people to enter their neighborhoods, local authorities reported.

Oregon is home to the longest-running Black Lives Matter riots since the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.

While the riots have finally started to subside, September 6 marked the 100th straight night of police-declared riots in Portland. Rioters have attacked police with commercial-grade fireworks, rocks, Molotov cocktails, and lasers meant to blind officers.

In an attempt to subdue the rioters, police in riot gear have employed flash-bang grenades and tear gas coupled with repeated requests via loudspeaker to clear the area.

Earlier this month, more than 50 people were arrested during one night of rioting in Portland. President Trump has criticized Democrat leaders in Oregon, including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, for not doing enough to quell the months of unrest in the city while denying the President’s repeated offers of federal assistance.

Wheeler recently ordered police to stop using tear gas for crowd control in Portland, a move that was condemned by Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. In a press release from the Portland Police Bureau, the group argued that after 100 consecutive nights of unrest, officers used tear gas to “disperse crowds only when there is a life safety event.”

The mayor’s office responded with a statement that called the Portland Police Bureau’s condemnation of the mayor’s direction a “serious breach of protocol and an inappropriate use of City communications resources.”