Eugene's Downtown Can Be A Hostile Environment
The Eugene City Council received an earful last night (Monday) during its public forum about a recent police incident at the downtown park blocks. Last Friday, when police arrested two men for drug dealing, a large crowd gathered, yelling obscenities and taunting officers.
Some who spoke complained about police and called the arrests brutal. But others said the city isn’t doing enough to protect citizens from harassment from street people downtown.
Caroline Cummings, who works downtown, described the dangerous gauntlet on the sidewalks.
Cummings: “My physical space has also been threatened. And I’m not talking about homeless or travelers. I’m talking about anyone loitering on the streets, lashing out to others and creating hostile and unsafe environments. I’ve already expressed one frightening incident to you via email on September 7 where I wished I would have had a weapon to defend myself.”
Cummings wondered why downtown loiterers should have more rights than she has. A business owner urged action from the council saying what happened Friday in the park blocks shows an escalation of hostility. Eugene Police Auditor Mark Gissiner is investigating the Friday incident at the park blocks