The Portland Police Bureau admitted on Thursday that one of its officers slashed the tires of a so-called “snack van” driving with protesters last weekend.
The “snack van” has been a mainstay during protests in downtown Portland over the past month, offering food and water to demonstrators.
In a video that has been widely shared on social media, a Portland police officer is seen running up to the van’s left-rear tire and slashing it with something. Immediately, the hissing sound of escaping air can be heard. The driver keeps going and within seconds, the van’s tire is noticeably flat.
The van’s driver, who asked the Daily Hive to refer to him as ‘Jeva’, said he has stocked his van with snacks, hydration, and most-importantly basic medical supplies, Jeva brings much-needed assistance to the hundreds demonstrating daily.
Portland police puncture all four tires of snack van tonight pic.twitter.com/WzHh6Ondgd
— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) August 7, 2020
— Portland Independent Documentarians (@PDocumentarians) August 7, 2020
“The crowd came up on me and I didn’t have any other place I could go and the police just came in and slashed three of my tires,” Jeva told Daily Hive.
A livestream clip, shows Jeva struggling to get through the crowd in order to put distance between his van, and the police who were marching up right behind the van.
Hey @PortlandPolice was it really safer for everyone to be followed with teargas for an hour instead of the guy with medical supplies, water and food for everyone? When was I a danger so that you had to slash three tires to stop me? #BLM #portlandprotest #PoliceBrutalityPandemic pic.twitter.com/Vfi3BZYrhy
— Jeva (@SnackVanTM) July 5, 2020
“Video shows the van lagging slightly behind the moving protest crowd — who were at the time, being moved by riot police — when police officers ran up to the Sprinter, and slashed the van’s tires,” the Daily Hive reports. “Other social media videos show that the police previously attempted to arrest ‘snack guy’ for an unknown violation.”
“Interfering with a police officer, when I asked what the Interference was somebody said because it was reserved parking spot,” said Jeva. “I was never given a court date or know of any follow-up, I wasn’t even given the information to where my van with all my belongings had been taken to.”
Community members and fellow Black Live Matter protesters rallied behind Jeva by assisting him in acquiring and changing the van’s tires.
— Jeva (@SnackVanTM) July 6, 2020
As far as why the police slashed his tires, Jeva says “they haven’t said anything, my own livestream shows the crowd coming to me at a red light followed by them smashing my tires after the crowd started pouring through.”
KATU2 reported on Thursday that police claimed they disabled the van because the driver interfered with police action.
In responding to KATU’s request for comment, Lt. Tina Jones, a bureau spokeswoman, did not elaborate on what happened.