MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR – The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office recently revealed an interactive dashboard that can detail the case statuses of all arrests linked to riots and protests.
And when reviewing the status of cases from May 29th up until October 5th – a staggering 666 cases have been dropped out of 974 cases filed.
And most of these cases have been getting dropped under the status of “Rejected: Interest of Justice”.
That's encouraging. If I was considering rioting, that would make me more likely to go for it. REPORT: Nearly 70% Of Portland Rioters Had Charges Dropped By Progressive DA https://t.co/707B5YArLi
— Rachel Alexander (@Rach_IC) October 8, 2020
When running the numbers, roughly 68% of cases filed related to arrests made during the riots and protests saw the cases get thrown out by the DA’s office within the county that is home to none other than Portland.
Of those 974 cases filed between May and October, 128 cases were “issued” (meaning that criminal proceedings are moving forward), 182 are still “pending”, 67 were cited as being “rejected – follow up necessary”, 44 were tossed due to “insufficient evidence”, 12 were thrown own citing “legal impediments” and 543 of the cases were dropped in the “interest of justice”.
When reviewing the section of the dashboard called “methodology and definitions”, that’s where the DA’s office explains what this “interest of justice” case dismissal means:
“The Deputy District Attorney chooses not to proceed with criminal charges based on compelling factors or circumstances.
Some considerations include, but are not limited to, the nature of the crime, the prior record of the defendant, the punishment already suffered by the defendant, the purpose and effect of further punishment, any prejudice resulting to the defendant by the passage of time, current office policy, and the impact on the public interest of a dismissal.”
— Shane D. Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) October 8, 2020
To the DA’s office’s credit, the dashboard is rather quite manipulatable, which betrayed that a majority of these cases that were dropped in the “interest of justice” happened to fall under the categorization of “public order crimes”.
In fact, out of the 543 cases dropped in the “interest of justice” – 532 were categorized as “public order crimes”.
Moving back over to the “methodology and definitions” sections of the dashboard, we’re able to find every offense that falls under this category. The listed offenses are:
- Attempted escape III
- Curfew violation
- Disorderly conduct I
- Disorderly conduct II
- Escape I
- Escape II
- Escape III
- Giving false information to a peace officer
- Interfering with a peace officer
- Interfering with public transportation
- Obstructing government administration
- Resisting arrest
So, apparently when one is in Portland and attending one of these protests or riots, then they can literally riot themselves and have a pretty solid chance of not being prosecuted at all based upon these current numbers.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
This all appears to stem from the words delivered by the DA’s office earlier this year, where the office promised to not prosecute certain crimes that were committed during protests and riots because the new DA thinks people shouldn’t be arrested for “peaceful protesting”.
Here’s the background on District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s August announcement.
PORTLAND, OR – After going on around 70-some-odd days of violent protests and riots in Portland, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt decided the best move to do was to actually stop prosecuting certain crimes committed during these riots.
— Fox12Oregon (@fox12oregon) August 11, 2020
In a new policy announced on August 11th, DA Schmidt stated that in order to “promote a safe community” and “reduce the negative and lasting impacts” of an arrest record – people doing illegal things during the riots need to stop getting prosecuted.
According to the DA, the rationale for changing what does and does not get prosecuted is the following:
“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 society.
“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.”
Well, let’s examine what these “non-violent” charges would be that would no longer get prosecuted:
- Interfering with a peace officer or parole and probation officer
- Second-degree disorderly conduct
- First and second-degree criminal trespass
- Third-degree escape
- Riot (Unless accompanied by a charge outside of this list)
Oh, and in the event someone during a riot gets charged with resisting arrest, the DA’s office said they’ll take into consideration the “chaos of a protesting environment” when deciding whether to prosecute or not.
Now, let’s look at this first charge that DA Schmidt will no longer prosecute, that being interfering with a police officer as defined by Oregon state law. This means that someone can prevent police from fulfilling their lawful duties and not get into any trouble…like maybe creating a barricade not allowing officers to arrest a criminal.
District Attorney Mike Schmidt is refusing to uphold the law. He's refusing to prosecute criminal activity.
Citizens have rights, too. Since when has trespassing, rioting, damage to property, and assault been considered acts of "free speech"? https://t.co/CPVn7wLNgR
— ModSquad (@Designsage) August 11, 2020
Not only that, but this now creates a free pass for people to willingly disobey lawfully given orders. Because that also falls under ORS 162.247.
As for second-degree disorderly conduct, now people won’t get in legal trouble for blocking traffic, yelling “fire” in an apartment building, engages in “fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior,” and many other forms of disorderly conduct.
And really? Criminal trespass in the first and second degree are now freebies too? That means when someone is lawfully told to leave a premises that they don’t own (say for instance, protesters invade your yard), no legal consequences will arise if they refuse to leave your property.
Harassment has to be one of the more absurd ones not going to be prosecuted either – because that means someone can subject “such other person to offensive physical contact,” or be allowed to berate someone in public and follow them around while doing so.
Rioting, which is a felony, will only get prosecuted if the alleged offender did something else illegal that wasn’t any of the aforementioned. Rioting is illegal for a reason, just like third-degree escape from police custody.
People have no been given the proverbial “okay” to riot in Portland and then escape from police custody and not get prosecuted.
But the madness doesn’t stop there.
So long as a rioter “only” commits a crime, whether felony or misdemeanor, during a protest that causes financial loss…they can have their cases dismissed if they pay restitution or abide by other outlines delineated by the DA’s office.
Here are the charges where people can have their criminal cases magically vanish if they abide by the court’s requests:
- Second and third-degree criminal mischief – when the value is under $1,000
- First, second and third-degree theft – when the value is under $1,000 or when the theft is committed during a riot
- Second-degree burglary if combined with any criminal mischief or theft allegation
While the police department and the DA’s office said they won’t tolerate any violence toward police officers or other people in the community, they’re practically turning a blind eye to the menacing crowds that are terrorizing residents in Portland.
Pure, unadulterated madness.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!