Officers were dispatched to guard food waste dumpsters after a store was forced to throw away tons of products after their freezers were left out of power.
The incident took place in Portland, Oregon, where a Fred Meyer store was left with no option but to throw away massive amounts of products, including milk and meat products, after their freezers had failed.
As the officials of the store located at 3030 Northeast Weidler Street insisted, the food had to be thrown away because they could no longer guarantee its safety.
Nevertheless, people started gathering outside the store and collecting discarded food from the store’s dumpsters.
Eventually, the store staff called the police, whereas more than ten officers were allegedly dispatched to stop people from getting the food from dumpsters.
As local activist Morgan Mckniff said in an interview with Oregon Live, a group of people gathered outside the Fred Meyer store to salvage discarded food after having a rough week due to a power outage.
They were initially stopped from collecting discarded food by store staff who threatened to call the police. While the officers reportedly didn’t respond to the first call, they were dispatched after the staff called once more to warn that the situation is escalating.
Mckniff also claimed that some of the 14 officers protecting the dumpsters were threatening the group with the use of physical force.
The police, however, insisted they were only there to “preserve peace, prevent violence, and restore order” while accusing the crowd of failing to engage in a dialogue and continuing “to shout insults” at the police and store staff.
Defending the decision to dispose of the potentially-unsafe food products was also Fred Meyer who in a statement clarified the reasons behind their decision.
“Unfortunately, due to loss of power at this store, some perishable food was no longer safe for donation to local hunger relief agencies,” they insisted.
“Our store team became concerned that area residents would consume the food and risk foodborne illness, and they engaged local law enforcement out of an abundance of caution. We apologize for the confusion.”
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