“They ran up behind my car, opened my car doors, and tried to rip me out by the hair,” says Gila. “They let my car fill with tear gas, shut the door on me, and then stabbed both of my passenger side tires.”
Gila and Beeman aren’t alone. In the course of reporting this story, the Mercury learned of more than a dozen alleged instances of police puncturing a vehicle’s tires in the course of Portland’s recent protests against police brutality. The tactic has drawn so much attention that PPB Deputy Chief Chris Davis addressed the topic in an August 19 video produced by PPB.
“We were trying to leave the area as they told us to evacuate, but then they slashed our tires as we were trying to comply, and then they threatened to arrest us for failure to comply,” says Justine Hostetler, who was inside Snack Van 2—a vehicle that delivers free snacks and water to protesters—when its tires were punctured by PPB officers on August 6. “Every [PPB] riot van and police car that passed us pretty much told us to do something different.”