As District Attorney announces he won’t prosecute most rioters, Antifa starts attacking residential areas.

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This editorial is brought to you by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

PORTLAND, OR – Since the death of George Floyd in May, members of Black Lives Matter and opportunists members of Antifa crawled out of their mother’s basement and began to wage war. 

The two groups have destroyed millions of dollars’ worth of businesses, killed people, and injured over 100 cops.  Instead of just targeting downtown centers, they have also begun attacking residential neighborhoods.

In Portland, members of Antifa have stepped up their newer attacks in residential areas.  This after they unsuccessfully attempted to march on the Precinct as well as the Police Union office.  On August 14th, the Portland Police Bureau released the following statement:

“As the group marched, several support vehicles followed, blocking vehicular traffic.  The lead marchers held wooden shields.  Many in the crowd were wearing helmets, gas masks, and other protective gear.

“Police learned that the march was likely proceeding to the officers of the Portland Police Association (PPA) in the 1800 Block of North Lombard Street.  During multiple previous demonstrations, individuals broke into the PPA office and lit arson fires, in addition to committing a burglary, theft, and vandalism.”

Officers formed a perimeter around the area to keep the criminals from getting access to the office.  Displeased with not being able to get their way, the rioters began launching projectiles at the officers.  As the officers were getting attacked, they declared an unlawful assembly and ordered all rioters to leave the area.

Portland Police said:

“As officers dispersed the crowd, individuals launched commercial grade fireworks, golf balls, large river rock, palm sized chunks of concrete, glass bottles, and ball bearings from sling shots at officers.  One officer was punched in the head multiple times, causing minor injury, and the suspect was arrested. 

“Another officer was struck by an object, possibly a stick or bat, and suffered a minor injury.  Green lasers were shined in officer’s eyes.  Several people with ‘press’ affixed to them shined flashlights in officer’s eyes.  Multiple dumpster fires were set in traffic intersections.  Some of the fires were set close enough to traffic that several cars had to swerve to miss them.” 

Rioters then descended into the residential neighborhood that is near the police substation.  Once again, they began defacing private property and shouting out personal addresses of women who live in the area. 

Officers were eventually able to remove the crowd, but, as they have every night, they will simply return.

And to make matters worse, the prosecutors in Oregon, specifically in the Portland area, have announced their intention of dismissing the charges against the criminals. 

Earlier this week, the office of Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced a new policy regarding rioting and looting prosecution.

Schmidt said:

“The protesters are angry…and deeply frustrated with what they perceive to be structural inequities in our basic social fabric.  And this frustration can escalate to levels that violate the law.

“This policy [of not pursuing criminal charges] acknowledges that centuries of disparate treatment of our black and brown communities have left deep wounds and that healing process will not be easy or quick.” 

Schmidt’s reasoning behind the policy change is as follows:

“If we leverage the full force of the criminal justice system on individuals who are peacefully protesting and demanding to be heard, we will cause irreparable harm to them individually and to our city.

“The prosecution of people exercising their rights to free speech and assembly in a non-violent manner takes away from the limited resources that we have to prosecute serious crimes and to assist crime victims.” 

The major problem with these statements is that it notes the complete and utter failure of the criminal justice system in this area.  People who may have refrained from committing criminal acts because of the repercussions of their criminality now know that they can do what they want with impunity. 

The message that Schmidt gave is that criminals are free to burn down buildings, attack police officers, vandalize, and steal whatever they like and not fear any backlash.  Not to mention, a large portion of these events are run by Antifa, a group of grown children, sure, but their aim is totally and complete anarchy, a far cry from why the protests supposedly started. 

Not to mention, there is nothing peaceful that is coming out of Portland as they are destroying, burning, and looting businesses.  What could possibly be peaceful about those crimes?

And it’s not just Portland.

On Saturday, a small Oregon city – Eugene – less than two-hours from Portland experienced rioting as hundreds of people targeted a county jail and federal courthouse with fireworks.

Eugene Police became aware of a planned protest at the US Federal Courthouse starting at 8pm on Saturday night. Based on…

Posted by Eugene Police Department on Sunday, July 26, 2020

As if that wasn’t destructive enough, they attacked local businesses downtown while employees were trapped inside. Fox News reported that the violence, destruction, and vandalizing mirrored those seen in Portland the last 60 plus nights. 

Crowds blocked the streets and prevented one man in a pickup truck from passing. As the crowd surrounded the man’s vehicle, the driver opened his door and pointed his handgun toward another man wearing a back t-shirt and a helmet.

The two faced off amid a shouting crowd as the demonstrator pointed his own weapon at the driver through the open car door window. Someone video recorded the incident and posted it to social media where it has gone viral with 1.6 million views as of Monday.

Seven adults and one juvenile were arrested in Eugene from Saturday night’s events. It is unclear at the time of this writing if either man depicted in the video were among those arrested. It seems an anti-fascist group of teens who have become popular in the Portland riots raised money to help bail out those arrested.

The Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front’s unverified account retweeted messages directing people to use the mobile service Venmo to send funds to go towards their bail. The Eugene Police Department said it became aware of a planned protest at the U.S. Federal Courthouse starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.

According to reports, armed counter-protesters showed up and a man was arrested after firing a handgun into the air in the middle of a crowd of about 300 people. The man has since been identified as Robert Welch, 44. He has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon and recklessly endangering another person.

Police said that the counter-protesters left before 10 p.m., but that a crowd of about 200 demonstrators remained.

Protesters in that large group began to launch fireworks toward the federal courthouse as well as blocking traffic. The group then marched towards the Lane County Jail where they proceeded to launch more fireworks into the employee parking lot. They also lit smoke bombs in front of the facility.

As the group continued to march, they grew louder and more destructive. They advanced downtown and began ripping down street signs, spray painting buildings, and smashed the windows of a Wells Fargo and Whole Foods.

The violent protesters spray painted a police auditor car and launched fireworks at the local Elkhorn Brewing Company as well as broke several windows while employees were trapped inside.

The Eugene Police Department wrote in a post on Facebook:

“Employees were inside the building at the time and managed to escape safely as police moved into the area to prevent further damage or harm to life safety. It’s important to note that police were not on the ground during much of the initial hours to avoid any escalating presence. Monitoring for crowd and pedestrian traffic safety was down remotely via drone.”

Protesters began throwing harmful objects at the officers as they were making announcement that the assembly was unlawful. Police deployed less-than lethal munitions (pepper-ball munitions) and CS gas to disperse the remaining large crowds. 

Out of the seven arrests from that weekend, three of them were charged with disorderly conduct, two of them for resisting, and two for interfering.

Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner said in a statement:

“It’s unfortunate that yet again we’re having a conversation about a small group of individuals that after three-plus hours of being heard felt like what being heard meant to them was to damage local businesses and public property and to throw rocks at police officers, damaging police cars, and hurting officers with rocks.”

Police and city officials emphasized the progress and actions taken over the last two months to build relationships with Black Unity and other community organizations to address police reform, racism, and social inequality. After the weekend’s events, Chief Skinner citing the ongoing protests in Portland:

“It’s unfortunate that what we see in Portland has a tendency to manifest itself here in local Eugene. There wasn’t a better day for us when we were able to take the boards and fencing down at EPD. That was a milestone day for us.”

He added:

“I don’t have any plans on putting the boards back up or fences back up. I’m. going to continue to extend that trust, but it’s not lost on me that what we see in Portland and some of the emotions that we’re seeing in Portland have a tendency to manifest themselves down here.”

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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about the violence, destruction, and rioting taking place nightly in Portland:

Demonstrations have entered a seventh consecutive week in Portland. This includes a clash that lasted into Tuesday morning in which demonstrators and cops faced off for hours at a police union building in a north Portland. 

Tuesday evening, the Portland Police Department took to Twitter to declare the protests a riot, tweeting:

“A riot has been delcared. Everyone needs to disperse immediately and leave to the East.”

Monday marked the 46th consecutive night of demonstrations in the city which authorities said have cost $23 million in damages and lost revenue to businesses in the downtown area.

In addition to declaring a riot, the Portland Police sent out another tweet saying their officers have been hit with paint, ball bearings, and glass bottles, which the added are criminal acts.

Police repeatedly ordered the crowd to disperse and threatened to use tear gas, but ultimately did not.

Monday’s events, the latest after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, followed a similar incident over the weekend, when a federal officer protecting a courthouse was hit in the head with a hammer.

Damages reached an estimated $50,000 when rioters attempted to break through the court’s doors, local NBA affiliate KGW reported.

Police were able to arrest a 23-year-old from Texas on assault charges.

The officer injured was one of many federal law enforcement agents called in to help settle the mayhem, deployed earlier this month among a dozen agencies and departments sent by the Department of Homeland Security, Fox News said.

Federal officers from the U.S. Marshals, the Federal Protective Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have moved through the city to protect federal property such as Mark. O Hatfield Federal Courthouse, Pioneer Courthouse, and the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building as well as Terry Schrunk Plaza.

Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler has criticized the decision to send in federal officers, accusing President Donald Trump of escalating the violence.

Wheeler tweeted out that the president did not quell the violence, instead saying:

“His heavy-handed tactics led to a serious injury and enflamed an already tense situation.”

Just last week, Portland’s Deputy Chief Chris Davis defended what some have called aggressive tactics by the department.

Refusing to label the demonstrators as “protesters,” Davis referred to them as “agitators.”

He said:

“There’s a very big difference between protests and the kind of mayhem that we see every night. You’re going to hear me make a lot of effort not to refer to what we’re talking about here as protests, because protests and this are two different things.”

The press conference, which was organized by Mayor Wheeler’s office, highlighted the divide of many city officials.

Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty and Chloe Eudaly have continually questioned police tactics in handling the events of the recent weeks, the police have amped up their criticism of the riots.

Tim Becker, the mayor’s spokesman, mentioned in a statement that the mayor is “supportive of the intent” of Davis’ presentation, which described “what’s happening every night from an operational standpoint.”

Davis offered support for the Black Lives Matter movement and peaceful protesters during his press conference.

He also displayed the infographic for protest roles created by the Hong Kong “freedom fighters” who are protesting to remain autonomous from China’s authority.

Davis’ presentation followed a press conference in which Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner said the union had issued a no-confidence vote against the City Council to “stop the rioting and looting and protect the safety and livelihoods of all Portlanders.”

Turner said:

“If City Council won’t stand up for Portland, we will.” 

For more on that vote, as well as Turner’s plan for standing up for Portland, keep reading below.

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Portland Oregon has reportedly suffered $23 million in damages and customer loss due to violent nightly protests.

Rioters have converged nightly into downtown Portland, looting, vandalizing, and throwing projectiles at police. Politicians have none nothing but pander to the mob, and have so far not condemned this violence, save for a string of tweets from Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Now, Portland Police Association (PPA) is taking action. More on that in the second half of this article.

Of the damage from the rioting, Deputy Chris Davis stated:

“There’s a very big difference between protests and the kind of mayhem that we’ve seen every night. … The Black Lives Matter movement is not violent. The story that we’re going to talk about today is about a small group of agitators that is attempting to hijack that message and use it as a cover for criminal activity.”

The protests are now in their sixth week. Protesters and some politicians were not happy with the use of tear gas used by police, but with the fairly large group of rioters growing in numbers, it’s unclear how they expect officers to control the group. 

PPA President Daryl Turner discussed Wednesday at a press conference on FOX12 the need for peace for all residents of Portland, as well city safety as protests continue nightly. 

Turner said:

“For forty days, thousands of people have poured out onto the streets calling out for change. For over 40 days a small number of people have hijacked those calls for social justice and use the cover for peaceful protest to burn and loot our city. It’s enough.

“Over half a million people call this city home. All of Portland deserves safety, security and a nonviolent platform to speak their minds.” 

He also expressed his lack of confidence with the City Council:

“I have no confidence that city council will stand up for all of Portland.

“I have no confidence that the city will stop the rioting, the looting and protect the safety and livelihood of Portlanders.

“I have no confidence that the City Council will guide the PPB forward to a new era of policing that prioritizes community safety, equity, reform, and police funding.

“I have no confidence that City Council respects and supports its rank-and-file officers who work tirelessly to better our community.

“I have no confidence that City Council wants to be part of the solution that closes the divide between police and our communities.”

According to KGW8 on June 17th, The Portland City Council has passed the 2020-21 budget 3-1 with plans to cut $15 million from the police bureau, taking away 84 positions. Current requests for defunding the department was at $50 million according to Unite Oregon. 

City council Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty tweeted in a series of tweets yesterday:

“While the PPA came out this morning with a vote of no-confidence in City Council, I remain undeterred and continue to work on the change demanded by the public.”

KATU2 received word from Hardesty in response to Portland Police Association’s (PPA) President Daryl Turner statements:

“This is not an unusual tactic when the public tide turns against the PPA or no longer allowing them to dominate the dialogue around policing and I will continue to work on change as the public demands and will not be intimidated by them.”

Turner’s “tactic” includes real solutions, which he wrote of in a press release:

“Our City Council should stand up and remind our communities that we must work to heal our City, not destroy it. Violence in our streets does not fix social and racial inequities. Burning down the Justice Center or destroying a federal courthouse brings no one justice.

“If City Council won’t stand up for Portland, we will. The PPA will be pushing two initiatives forward that are focused on community safety, police funding and reform, and internal and external racial equity.

“Pastor Rev. J.W. Matt Hennessee and I will hold standing, quarterly roundtables that bring together police and our community.

We will be inviting members of the faith community, local community members, local law enforcement executives, local law enforcement officers, and local and state elected officials to attend.

The simple act of sitting together and talking can be profound. We want change. We want healing.

We want to ensure that we protect all Portlanders and give them a constructive, meaningful opportunity to speak openly and freely about social and racial justice. To get there, we must continue to engage with one another. We must continue to have difficult conversations.

“We won’t stop there. The words “police reform” don’t scare us. In my 29-year career, I have evolved daily as a person and as a police officer.

And every day, the Police Bureau has grown and improved as an organization. Now is the time to continue growing, improving, and evolving.

Defunding police in our City will not improve or reform the police. To reach those goals, we must invest in our Police Bureau.

To that end, the PPA has announced an eight-part reform platform based on reasonable and constructive efforts to improve policing services for all of Portland, available at www.fundpolicereform.org.”

As of the time of this writing, no politicians have responded to Turner’s statement.

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