Portland has endured nights of riots and violence lasting for months straight. Now, law enforcement is refusing to send help. Why would that be?
UPDATE: Portland Mayor Wheeler has decided that he is moving after rioters came to his home and rioted over the weekend, smashing windows and throwing Molotov cocktails into the stores on the first floor of his condo complex. Amazing how the elitist politicians react when it’s THEIR homes that are threatened.
Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler, has repeatedly ordered police to retreat and not respond forcibly to rioters. And the Mayor has worked with the District Attorney in Portland to refuse to prosecute rioters that are arrested for crimes against property.
When Federal law enforcement came to protect Federal property, like the Federal Court House, the Mayor asked them to leave and even joined a protest to that effect. After getting an agreement that Federal property would be protected, they left the city after several days. Oregon State Police came to help restore order, as part of the agreement to protect some of the Federal property. After a time, Oregon State Police also left because the City was refusing to prosecute those they arrested so they saw no need to stay.
Oddly, crime has continued. For one hundred nights. Imagine that.
But everything changed this weekend. A person-reportedly a conservative counter-protester-was shot and killed over the weekend (as an aside, Oregon Governor Kate Brown blamed the homicide victim for his death saying he was “looking for a fight” but giving no other explanation for how he died from a gunshot wound to the chest). And maybe more significantly for the radical leftist Mayor, protesters marched to his home and protested outside while shouting demands. All of a sudden the protests were personal and the Mayor himself felt threatened and it wasn’t an abstract threat.
So the Mayor, working with the Governor, developed a plan to drastically increase law enforcement presence in the city by pulling in resources from surrounding areas and using the State Police.
Yet, not only hadn’t nearby law enforcement agencies been consulted, they were not so ready to help.
Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett said that the County would not be sending officers but would be willing to help in ‘indirect ways’. “The lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly,” Garrett said in a statement.
Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, also refusing to send officers, on Monday put it more directly. “Had Governor Brown discussed her plan with my office, I would have told her it’s about changing policy, not adding resources,” he said. “Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder.”
He noted that Portland’s newly elected District Attorney had dismissed charges against hundreds of protesters that had been arrested. The Mayor and the District Attorney are the primary problem.
“The same offenders are arrested night after night, only to be released by the court and not charged with a crime by the DA’s Office. The next night they are back at it, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the community all over again,” Roberts continued. “The criminal justice system will need do its part and hold offenders accountable.”
The sheriff added that his staff would still assist Oregon State Police with service calls that they normally handle in Clackamas County so that they can go to Portland, if the Governor orders.
A spokesperson for the nearby Gresham Police Dept. also said they were in agreement with the other agencies regarding Gov. Brown’s plan.
Asking for additional officers to keep the law, then refusing to prosecute those they arrest for breaking the law has a very predictable outcome. If Mayor Wheeler and Gov. Brown didn’t know that, you would think they would have learned it in the roughly one hundred days of rioting and violence. Clearly they are slow learners.
The most basic function of government is to protect its citizens. Wheeler and Brown have been negligent and, unfortunately, the people of Portland are paying for their radicalism and inability to learn from their mistakes. Portland will continue to burn as long as they stick to their radical policy of turning their back on violence and rioting.