Jewelry store owners sue the city of Portland over millions of dollars in theft and damage during anarchy

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PORTLAND, OR Much like business people elsewhere in the country, a Portland jeweler is still reeling from the May 29 riots and looting.

While those who watched newscasts of businesses being destroyed and looted in May might have since forgotten the immediate shock of that chaos, a local jewelry store has yet to recover from the millions of dollars it lost to theft and damage.

Portland was among a handful of cities that erupted in violence after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Now the owners of the jewelry store are suing the city of Portland for those losses.

The Kassab Jewelers location at 529 SW Broadway in Portland is still closed following the destruction and looting to which the business was subjected on May 29.

According to one of the owners of the jewelry store, Rana Kassab, they feel that Portland officials should have noted the rioting in other cities and been better prepared to combat the looting and rioting in their own city that evening.

Kassab is especially distraught at seeing downtown Portland’s ransacked business district:

“It’s really heartbreaking to see all that beauty and hardship destroyed.”

Kassab explained what she witnessed during the riots, with police visible but doing almost nothing to rein in the rampant crime that night:

“Police were either right outside our door . . . for six minutes police were parked on Alder and Broadway . . . and many SWAT teams and SWAT cars and what not were going up and down Broadway and no one just stopped in to check on our location.”

More than 100 rioters entered the broken-into jewelry store to loot it while the chaos was unfolding throughout the city. Despite calling 911 several times during the violent evening, Kassab says, there was no response other than being told that help was en route.

As a result, the Kassab family is seeking compensation for the damage done to their business that night. In the lawsuit, the Kassabs say looters stole more than $1.5 million worth of merchandise and generated $500,000 in damage and other losses. In addition, the Kassabs maintain they have lost an estimated $200,000 since being unable to do business. 

Kassab said that the city needs to be held responsible:

“Things that insurance does not cover and we feel we should not have to come out of pocket for.”

What’s even more sad is that she isn’t sure the store will ever reopen. Kassab said:

“Who knows if we’re ever even going to open back up.”

Portland city officials have not yet commented on the pending lawsuit.

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This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on businesses filing suit against their cities for the damage and violence committed during the numerous riots that played out in May and June of this year.

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SEATTLE, WA – Politicians allowed a group of violent anarchists to take over a six-block area of Seattle.

Some called it the CHOP, others, the CHAZ. Whatever they called it, the area was a no-go zone for police and a haven for lawlessness.

The leaders blocked off the streets. They prevented people from walking through the area if they didn’t want them there.

They extorted business owners for “safety.” They terrorized residents; people were brutally attacked.

Some lost their lives. One of those people was Lorenzo Anderson, a 19-year-old black man.

And the politicians allowed it to happen. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said that the zone was patriotic. She said that “it could be the summer of love.” 

Tell that to Horace Anderson, Lorenzo’s father. 

Anderson is suing the city of Seattle, King County and the state of Washington for $1 billion each. He is seeking $3 billion total through wrongful-death claims against each of the entities. Evan M. Oshan, his attorney, told The Seattle Times:

“We don’t exactly know where blame lies so we’re putting all the entities on notice and will begin the discovery process and flush out justice.”

The Associated Press reported that Anderson’s mother, Donnitta Sinclair Martin, is also filing a lawsuit against the city, for an undisclosed amount. 

Her claim was based on the belief that officials allowed the zone to be created and that police and fire officials failed to protect or medically assist her son. 

Keep in mind, the mobs prevented the responding officers from entering the area.

Some told officers that Anderson had already been transported to the hospital, where he died.  After the 911 call, paramedics were staged nearby, but could not enter the dangerous area until police had it secured. 

The city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Service and the county Department of Executive Services have acknowledged receipt of the claims filed by Horace Anderson, but refused to comment, citing policies regarding pending claims. 

Officials with Washington’s Department of Enterprise Services said they have not yet received the lawsuit. 

The autonomous zone where Lorenzo was killed was founded as part of the Black Lives Matter protests that started after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Two of the central themes of those protests have been “defunding the police” and “Democrats love us, Trump is evil.”

Ironically, Anderson received a call from President Trump. 

“Incredibly, Donald Trump called me. The President of the United States called me and talked to me today. He gave his condolences, and me, I’m not a political guy. I told him, ‘Nobody likes you.’  I’m real. But I will tell you on this camera, Donald Trump called me and he didn’t have to call me.”

Interestingly, he had not heard from either the mayor or the governor after his son’s death. He said:

“It’s like they didn’t care, it didn’t matter. I haven’t heard from the mayor, from the police department. No city. Nobody.”

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